By Joe Lunievicz
Published in Mothering Magazine Online, October 2008
I have dinosaurs in my pockets
Pachecephalosaurus and Parasauralophus
building nests of cotton and fleece.
Carnivores and herbivores peacefully co-exist,
eating dried leaves and bits of broken crackers –
no roars or swear-words to be heard.
“Daddy, put this in your pocket,”
demands my attention.
A Gigantosaurus fresh from the sandbox tar-pit
makes room as best as he can,
tail clearing a path,
ridges scraping my palm,
tongue like sandpaper.
“Daddy, I want to be a head-butter,”
goes ignored until my hip feels
the laws of physics in effect.
How can you ignore a two-ton Triceratops?
“Daddy, can I be a dinosaur?”
“You can be anything you want,”
is my standard response.
“Daddy, I want to be just like you,”
melts the ice flows,
uncovers fossils long buried,
and makes the dinosaur-tube replicas,
Made in China,
What My Son Knows
By: Joe Lunievicz
Grasshoppers are brown.
Elephants are purple.
Porcupine puffer fish live
on the lawn of our building’s courtyard.
They need water to survive.
Animal heads mounted on the wall
of Los Compesinos Mexican Restaurant
on Northern Boulevard
wait until it’s dark,
in the room next store
It’s their job.
Somebody has to do it.
Leave food for them under the door
with the Grasshoppers.
By: Joe Lunievicz
We call him the great dilly-dallier
kin to Khan by way of Ghengis,
conqueror of timetables,
slayer of fast exits,
subduer of parental plans.
“Come on, come on.” is my plea.
A laugh is his war cry.
“Put your socks on.”
“Take your underwear
off your head.”
“Brush your teeth.”
“Come on – come on.”
My patience, blackening slowly,
singes my fingertips,
and bubbles the acids
in my belly-barometer.
“Please, please, please,”
passes through pursed lips
as he pirouettes around
plastic Blue-Tongue Skinks.
“I’ll count to three,”
the technique of second-to-last resort,
one step away from toy removal
and the Voice of Terror.
“Daddy, no, stop counting,”
indicates listening and the perilous edge
between meltdown and acquiescence.
but no movement.
His toes, sockless,
dance on the carpet.
“Dad-dee!” is followed by tears
and the sound of my fractured heart
like the underside of our hermit crab terrarium
where the warning next to the heater reads –
Do not let water touch the glass above the heater,
cracking may result.
Out of the apartment
I lock the door while behind me
a ninja hides against the wall.
Please, please, please,
echoes gracelessly, gratefully.
“Boo!” makes me jump,
the required response to absolute stealth
as if I never saw it coming.
Outside awaits the sun
and one thousand new opportunities
to bruise our relationship.
The king of the dilly-dallies
sees only the grasshopper court
where all idlers and imaginarians