That telltale floorboard
beneath my slippered foot,
Mr. Bean the cat
arching his back—hush!
Let the children sleep.

Twin tea cups
down from the shelf,
the kettle waking to the flame—
bowered birds announcing

the day’s agenda
ready on the refrig door:
trash day, call the vet,
plumber slotted for nine.

The house holds its breath:
school clothes laid out,
homework tucked into backpacks,
lunchboxes chilling
beside last night’s leftovers.

That telltale floorboard,
the rustle of her silky
dressing gown and Mr. Bean
fawning at her ankles.

Silent smiles,
the plash of water in our cups,
twin steams mingling,
rhymed hearts beating
in liminal space—

there, like clockwork,
that telltale floorboard!


Darrell Petska, a retired university editor from Madison, Wisconsin, writes poetry, fiction and nonfiction. View his work in Buddhist Poetry Review, Nixes Mate Review, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Literary Magazine, Verse-Virtual, Loch Raven Review and elsewhere. (conservancies.wordpress.com)