Latch-Key Kid–An Education of Resourcefulness

I was a weird doctors’ kid
Home alone with older sister
Afternoons spanning into evenings
Living a latch-key existence.

Demanding career climbs
Combined with scheduled passions
For golf, tennis, travel–
First generation immigrants
Determined to “live the Dream”–

Left us kids with
Fistfuls of hours to grow up
And entertain ourselves
In a larger suburban home
Filled with rulers, pens
And sticky pads from
Pharmaceutical companies,
Pages of radiology minutes
Printed on one side
(Leaving me
White drawing wonderlands
On the other side),
Razor sharp scalpels
Nestled within the pencil jar
And of course, the stethoscope.

So I educated myself
About the human body
Devising my own methods
Of investigation
As only a bored, smarter
Eccentric kid could,
Using the tools I had.

What to do?
Run up and down the stairs,
Do jumping jacks and
Even hold my breath
For as long as possible
To get my heart to beat faster
So I could absorb the
Altered sound effects
With a real stethoscope.

Or how about drinking water
Quickly and purposely
To make my stomach
Make zany noises to hear
Magnified by the stethoscope?
The initial gastronomic processes
Were curiously entertaining to
Marvel over and behold!

What about placing
The stethoscope on sister’s back
And then asking her
To first sing,
Then tense up and yell
To better understand how
A fetus inside the womb
Might feel and be affected
By changes in
The mother’s environment?

All this, with my sister,
My semi-mom,
I remember and miss
Yet would never go back
To those slow, cul-de-saced days.



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