Monday, April 30, 2012

The Vigil, a Poem

Some background:

Once upon a time, a cute young couple went to the hospital to have a baby. 13 hours of labor later, I was born. Then a bunch of stuff happened - growing up, blah blah blah, orthodontia, a bat mitzvah, blah blah blah, more orthodontia, high school, still with the orthodontia, year in Israel, blah blah blah, college, got married (told my orthodontist, "Enough already!"), blah blah blah, had some kids.

One of these children, we'll call him N because that is how he is referred to in text messages, requires a nightly vigil to fall asleep. This means I sit on a folding chair next to his bed until he is sound asleep. During the vigil, there is finger sucking and requests for water (N) and iPhone solitaire-playing and Whatsapping (me).

During one of these Whatsapp sessions with a fellow vigiler across town, I composed this poem. It's not Shakespeare, but on the bright side, you can pretty much understand it without CliffsNotes. It also may be the first highly-regarded (by me) piece of writing to be composed entirely using Whatsapp messaging.

A vigil of one
Is not that much fun
But suddenly with two
There's someone to text to

It helps pass the time
It isn't a crime

In the dark lonely room
[At this point I an interrupted by my contemporary, and the following Whatsapp exchange ensues:
"If i laugh, Raph doesn't sleep."
"Quiet I'm working"]
If there is a boom
It will wake up the chillin
And turn me into a villain

The breathing is quiet
But leaving? I wouldn't try it
The eyes are still fluttering
"Go to sleep already," I am muttering

A dirty kitchen awaits me
I think my floor hates me
Fingers have fallen out of the mouth
A sign that it's safe to go outh

(If the New Yorker calls, looking for submissions for their 33 under 33 issue (I still have 2 months...), feel free to send this in on my behalf.)


SaraK said...

Who knew WhatsApp could be used to produce such a masterpiece. [Sigh] I just love technology.

Rachel said...

I am very proud to have been the impetus for this poem. It is indeed a masterpiece, perfectly portraying how we pass every evening btwn 7-8

OneTiredEma said...

New Yorker = 40 under 40. You're in like Flynn.


I'm glad the orthodontia didn't traumatize you.

Baila said...

Now I understand the vigil comment on fb the other day. It's amazing how it all comes together. You're lucky to have whatsapp. In the olden days, we'd just lay with them and fall asleep before they did.

JerusalemStoned said...

"Safe to go outh."

Gold. Solid gold.

Kathleen said...

I usually fall asleep during my vigil too. Loved the poem!
Sounds like you had a LOT of orthodontia.

Arica said...

I usually play Words with Friends or Sudoku during my N vigil. Perhaps I should start writing poetry(or updating my blog).

Gila Rose said...

We should have Vigil Confessionals. I'm looking forward to Nadav moving to a bed, 'cuz then I can get a nap in.

Chana Rivka said...

Not that I'd want to suggest you end your nightly vigil but we've had success with melatonin...

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