Sheila What’s Happening to Us (poem)

Posted by ractrose on 12 Oct 2017 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of burning high-rise building




Sheila What’s Happening to Us


…the mystery is how they’re getting in

Like a pod-born infection of the country’s youth

One day your daughter is perfect and wears a dress

Joins Mom and Dad at the breakfast table

Spoons her oatmeal, studies for a test

One day a hippie cat with a reedy voice

(TV gigs today, Oscar later for that boffo 80s western)

Is leaning on the bell, looks like hell

Greasy long locks and love beads

Asks if Rain is in her room…heh!

Will she come down, daddy

Hey, man, I gotta split

Yeah, that ain’t my thing, man

But groovy, peace, man, anyhow

Dad’s eyes are popping

Rain, he says, when she saunters to the living room

In poncho and paisley peasant blouse

So what, she says, that’s what he calls me

Have you been cutting classes

Don’t wait up for me

This father who sees the world he trusts

Disintegrate under a commie plot

Not explicit in the script, but we know

We know

…what undermines our nation’s values

Cut his teeth in regional theater

Got his break as a turtlenecked spy

A little past his prime and tubby

But a wonderful, sonorous delivery

Young blond guy (was a surfer) got to be the star

But here’s a chance to tackle timely themes

And to the movie camera, taking a close-up

This actor’s actor whispers to his wife

Sheila, what’s happening to us?





Collage take-off on Quaker Oats man

The Day You Were Born
It Spoke of Its Broken Bones
















(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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