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Doing What's Expected

Caring for our children

we spend our best years

doing their homework

ferrying them from one

birthday party to the next

going to parenting classes

discussing what we did wrong

things our Yiddishe parents

would never have understood


We watch them grow,

another unmade bed

another lost cell phone

stay up waiting for them

to return home at three a.m., four,

we share so many moments with them

and then one day they’re dressed

in khaki and we watch the late night news

praying that we’ll see them again

unscathed, un-maimed, alive


And now at last that we’ve survived it all

parenting then grandparenting,

they’re urging us to sell our home

for an apartment in that really chic

protected environment place where

they will visit once a month for an hour

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© Johnmichael Simon


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