It was the week after Dave had been married. It was easy to cry. It was difficult to go into his room. It was also difficult NOT to go into his room. Sitting at his desk, I wrote this poem as I remembered . . . and remembered . and remembered.
At last! His room is neat and clean;
No clothes are on the floor.
The hub cap’s gone from off the wall;
No marks are on the door.
The messy bed is finally made;
The carpet’s clean now, too.
For once, the closet door is closed;
No underwear s m view.
Bath water, now, is seldom cold;
I never have to wait.
No dirty ring’s around the tub;
The towels are clean and straight.
I’m never wakened by the sounds
Of bouncing basketballs;
They never fray my lonesome nerves,
By hitting on the walls.
No fevered brow now mars my rest,
Or midnight sickly groan.
No fighting for the one sport page;
No, “Dad, I need a loan.”
No baseball shatters windowpanes;
No base paths mar the grass;
The car top never gets a dent
From a wayward forward pass.
No heel prints run along the wall;
No, “Dad, I need the car.”
No more, “‘Cause he is not in yet,”
Do I leave the door ajar.
The water pitcher’s always full;
The bathroom floor’s not wet;
And when I want a piece of bread,
The heel’s not all I get.
Methinks the floor is lonesome, though—
It never has been bare.
The chairs are homesick now, it seems,
For dirty underwear.
The towels aren’t happy being straight;
The bathtub wants some rings.
The floor is sorely saddened by
The silence cleanness brings.
The bed is lonesome for the guy
Who kept it such a mess,
‘Cause when it’s smooth and all dressed up,
It cannot seem to rest.
I’m gettin’ mighty nervous too,
Just waitin’ for the noise
Of basketballs thrown ‘gainst the house
By him and all the boys.
And how about his preacher Dad?
(The guy he used to fleece)
I’ve learned a truth I’ve never known—
The heel’s my fav’rite piece.