virtual children by Scott Warnock

Ode to the Sour Hour

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Dedicated to my friend, Wendy Lee

All parents know well the wicked sour hour:
When the day begins to lose its light and its power;
That time right before bed, the feelings of dread,
When the very house itself wheezes out: “Sour!”

No clock is needed to mark that cruel hour.
You hear the screeches, the frenzy of pjs and showers.
And then there’s that daughter, wanting one more glass of water,
While dilly-dallying around seems the sons’ main dower.

Ah, those once-happy children, now they moan and they lower,
To avoid Mr. Sandman, in closets they cower.
Those ingrates, they stomp, they mope, and they clomp,
And the cats slink away, thinking, “My, how sour!”

For reason and logic vacate at this cussed hour.
Gentle parents turn distraught, despondent, and dour;
Their faces turn red (Oh, the things that we’ve said!),
Merely because they want their youngsters well scoured.

Ah, it’s sad how a day once bright as a flower,
Has its beauty wilted and trampled by this one awful hour.
Those ungrateful munchkins, you just wanna punch ‘em,
And banish them book-less and Wii-less in some castle’s high tower.

When sleep at last arrives, parents all become vowers:
“Never again shall we live through this dreadful hour!”
But instead of new plans or plots, they fill glasses with shots,
And cry out, “Cheers! To tomorrow’s sliver of sour!”

Scott Warnock is a writer and teacher who lives in South Jersey. He is a professor of English at Drexel University, where he directs the University Writing Program. Father of three and husband of one, Scott is on two local school boards and coaches all kinds of youth sports.

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One Response to “Ode to the Sour Hour”

  1. And in the summer, it seems to be a sour 2 hours…fading into the night after they’ve loured over a shower.

    Oh well, I didn’t get enough sleep; you understand.

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