Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shakespeare will be the death of me


It starts on the bus, another mom
mentioning, the last trip she chaperoned
with the high school to London

& and how they lost a kid on the tube
     (imagine the look through the glass---
     the face of the one left---to the eyes
     of a parent, in a foreign place)
then returning to the station & not
finding them waiting---

we are taking the third graders
to a Midsummer Nights Dream---and my son
assures me they will say the 'A' word,
and i to him, that it will be several times

the minstrels warm the audience at the Black Friar,
an exact replica of old Willie's playhouse,
with a bit of modernity, Cee lo Green's Forget U
on old world instruments, all decked out
in Shakespearean trappings---then Very Superstitious
an un-auspicious choice---i have just yet
to see the signs

(rewind) they found the lost kid
back at the hotel, the rest of the trip went fine,
but presently a fairy queen is in love with an ass
having been blinded by love&flower juice,
& everyone laughing

when one little pink shirted girls hops up
on the opposing balcony's banister

        teetering, to & fro

& no one else sees it, all rapt in whatever
is going on, on stage, at this moment

'oh that your frowns might teach my smiles',
because my feet are not fast enough, her head
an over ripe melon traveling twenty feet---
a foot race with fate i can't hope to win,

bang the door (hiss) both going & entering the opposite
side, push through to slip---
              one meager finger
through a belt loop and---

perhaps i should write a prologue,
to let you know i am no lion---roar sensible
meows--for i am just a man

who missed

the whole second half (of the play) playing police
officer to--'feet flat on the ground'
and sleep most of the way home, nestled in the noise
of thirty voices that won't quit---but are beautiful
if for no other reason than they are still alive---

an i even got the t-shirt to show for it.

I dont think I will ever volunteer to chaperone a field trip again...at least until my heart stops beating fast. So this is where I was all day...and promise to catch up with you tomorrow. It really was an amazing show---at least what i saw of it.

72 comments:

Cloudia said...

"For I am just a man . . .
got the T-shirt. . ."


Lovely.


Warm Aloha from Waikiki
Comfort Spiral

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Magpie said...

That was a close call! I'm so glad you were able to "save thy fair maiden"... :) I go to see Nicole's play tomorrow night. Last year they did "A Midsummer's Night Dream" and it was wonderful.

Mary said...

I was right there with you through this experience. Field trip chaperoning definitely is not for the faint of heart. But I bet your son was glad to have you along.

janaki nagaraj said...

I can never do what you have done...chaperoning kids. I have no patience for that. Wonderful interpretation of the experience.

Anne said...

"A Midsummer Nights Dream", such a magical play and you set reality in the midst of it all with the missing child, a child out of place in Londontown.

manicddaily said...

Oh dear! I really can imagine. Although despite the drama (!) my favorite part is yous son's assurances re the A-word.

Glad that they/you made it. K

Adura Ojo said...

Being a chaperone is not easy! Lol. I did it recently too, taking kids to the London zoo. Might be fair to say they were more unruly than the animals we went to see...and I don't mean that in a bad way...cos one of those kids was mine...still is...lol.

Love your take on the experience, Brian.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

I remember being a little hellion when I was a kid and making chaperons miserable... it all comes back now though, as I have been getting the same treatment as a volunteer now haha... still a rewarding experience though.

MorningAJ said...

I once took five teenage girls to a stadium rock show. (Bon Jovi among others) I lost sight of three of them for several hours. I had MONTHS of worry in case I took any of them home pregnant!

This one struck a chord with me.

kaykuala said...

It's a big responsibility, true enough,Brian! Those who are worried most are the grandparents! I've known a few who tagged along on all outings. They would be worried sick otherwise but the parents found it convenient. So it is these days!

Hank

Valerie said...

Oooh Brian, I was horrified to read the title of this post, since Shakespeare is or was one of us, but when I read on I was more horrified over what could have been a true Shakespearean tragedy. So pleased it ended happily even if you did miss the end... so to speak.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

Oh my! Some are just more adventurous than others wanting to be not see what's on the balcony!

:OP :O) I know the feeling, I've done a few trips myself, one of the more memorable a trip to an historic island with a group of tweens... sigh... it could take the wind out of most sails :)

ladyfi said...

What an experience - both good and frightening! Thank goodness the child was found.

Daniel said...

Gulp. Sounds like at least an exciting evening. I am quite sure that you won't find me helping out with the kids at school any time soon. I both frighten and bore the children. A deadly combination.

Li said...

That was an amazing account :-) I wish that I had been exposed to Shakespeare at an earlier age - I was a jaded teen by the time I saw my first play and far more concerned with the boy sitting in front me.

the walking man said...

What Brian you forgot the string to tie them each to a belt loop of another? It is harder to wander with a ball and chain hampering the ability to scurry.

Bet you slept soundly yourself once you handed your charges over to the proper authority.

Lisa notes... said...

Oh, you made my heart stop. So glad for the happy ending. I helped chaperone my daughter's senior trip to NYC a couple weeks ago. Thankfully we came home with the exact number we went with. :-)

Lorraine said...

As always; incredible. maybe a bit more Bruce Springstein ;0

Modern Day Disciple said...

Wow...I was hanging in the balance. Phew. Chaperoning children is like trying to eat jello with a fork. Thanks for the comment love, Brian. Following you now- except your stories before coffee in the morning become like coffee to me!

Pat Hatt said...

Sounds very stressful having to keep an eye on them all
Sure your gawker power had a ball
Always more fun for the kids then the ones watching the rugrats
Less stressful are the cats..haha

Eve Redwater said...

Wow, Brian, sounds like that was a close shave!

You've got such a way of painting the images you see with the words you write, and it comes so naturally too! I love your poems. :)

DJan said...

You had me going there with the little pink shirted lass. Whew! And I don't think chaperoning would be very much fun, but yikes! My heart was pounding, too!

Anonymous said...

Taking care of young children is always stressful...their voice don't quit.... Plays, museums, field trips are fun to the children, a day away from school but full of anxiety for those keeping an eye on them. I hope you catch up on your rest ~

Grace

Ravenblack said...

Tough day with so many potential trouble! Taking care of one kid is already hard, taking care of a class of them, can't imagine myself being able to do that. Kudos to you.

CiCi said...

When my kids were small, I chaperoned a few times. Never ever had any drama like your event though. I used to be so nervous and overly cautious. What an eventful field trip. I am in awe of a Shakespeare choice for young ones. What did your son think of the play?

kd sullivan said...

I love the intermittent Shakspeare in this. The life interrupted is the life of a parent.

Wander said...

There is something to be said about this experience Brian, now when asked to do it in the future, you can say I had a very good time, and a horrendous one all together, not for me!

I used to think Parents were crazy. the worried about unnecessary things...now I have two kids, and I worry about unnecessary things...

Wander

moondustwriter said...

my daughter is embarking upon theater as her course of study in the land of Shakespeare (in US)

glad they found the kid Bri
Much Ado about alot...

smiles my friend

Gaston Studio said...

Oh my, what trauma! I have only chaperoned kids once and that was so many years ago, I don't even remember the decade (just kidding). I knew at the time, it would be my last time.

Claudia said...

i never thought that shakespeare could be so exciting...smiles... glad all worked out well in the end...ugh...for chaperoning 3rd graders it seems you have to be a mixture of an angel, braveheart and one adventurous poet...smiles

SueAnn Lommler said...

Chaperon?? Oh my! You brave soul. My heart was beating fast just reading your recount. Ha!!
Hugs
SUeAnn

turtlememoir said...

omg! my heart was in my throat all the way through while i'm thinking something's gonna... and it did - and you can play it down but to some pink girl's parents i'll bet you're something of a god

Myrna R. said...

Oh. I'm getting too old for this. Glad you were there. This was a very suspenseful poem.

Laurie Kolp said...

I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way after last weekend... but if the opportunity arises next year I'd probably do it in a heartbeat. You are very brave and to be commended b/c a lot of dads wouldn't take the time to chaperon. I'm so glad it didn't turn out disastrous!

Tara Miller said...

A rollercoaster of emotions with this one for me!! My heart racing at the story of the London field trip. And again beating fast and feeling your stress of trying to contain wiggly little girls and boys while everyone else is engrossed in the play. And then there is the secret giggle (laughing with you of course, love) that you were the one on the field trip having all the fun and excitement and stress - but hey, it made for a gret poem (and Logan loved that you got to go)! I'll take the next fun field trip. :)

Daydreamertoo said...

WOW.... good grief, I bet you nearly had a heart attack. Sheesh!
One child is enough for me, let alone a bus full. LOL Bravo!

PattiKen said...

Oh, my. We totally don't believe you about the "not a lion" bit. You are a lion to us. No mere man would take on a bunch of excited third-graders. When it comes to children, adulthood is fraught with peril, and sheer terror, and sleepless nights, and...

Sue said...

Oh boy, have I ever been there!

=)

Jenny Woolf said...

I was horrified! Glad she was okay. Oh my goodness. No, I don't know how anyone can ever enjoy chaperoning kids. But then I have never been sure how anyone could be a teacher and have to deal with a whole class of kids. When I remember what we were like...

Anyway, another great poem.

Geraldine said...

I love all things Shakespeare. Never tire of these plays.

The drama you had on top of the play, I guess you could have done without LOL.

I bet you're a great dad!

Happy Thursday, G

Fred Rutherford said...

I've never did the whole chaperone thing, but I've been one of those kids, and knowing what I remember I'd either pass to avoid what once was or if I had a child, I might go just to keep him safe from what might be.

Love the intertwining of MSND, it was a cool metaphor, especially as you used it. Great job. thanks

ayala said...

I find the field trips stressful but so much fun. Magical moments with our little ones. :) great write :)

Lisa Golden said...

My heart is still pounding over the image of that girl tumbling down.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

Oh my gosh, poor little thing!

Brandee Shafer said...

So stressful! You're a braver individual than me, having gone there even once. My nerves can barely handle my own rotten kids!

Alecia said...

ugh, I am helping to chaperone one next month. About a hundred 5th and 6th graders all going in different directions. Not my idea of a fun time, but how could I say "no" when my daughter asked me to go so sweetly? :) At least I think I get to drive my own car, and won't be on bus...whew!
Isn't it funny how out of all the words they hear in a play the a-word is the one they remember?

happygirl said...

Been there, done that, and I got the Tshirt, too. I don't miss it a bit, but I enjoyed the telling of your tale. Oh, the joy of parenthood and school. And, remember, these are the easy years. :)

Okie said...

wow...what an adventure. And great framing of the story. Very cool post and quite the interesting trip to the theatre. :)

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Oh, boy! I bet you were whooped for sure!

Grace said...

I never signed up for chaperon duties as its too stressful to play police officer. Glad everything turned out well and you had a fun day anyway with all the children. Hope you are able to catch some rest ~

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"perhaps i should write a prologue,
to let you know i am no lion---roar sensible meows--for i am just a man..."


Hi! Brian...
All I can say is...Wow! I read your explanation first and then your poetic words and all I can say is I'm so very happy that...All's Well That Ends Well!...LOL

[Nice image to compliment your trip/journey...too!]
Tks, for sharing...I think?!
deedee :-/

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Was he really? I think a temporary lost child would be my undoing...

I do think the old Midsummer that featured Mickey as Puck should be mandatory viewing of grade school children. One of my kids came home today and told me most people in her class had never heard of the Sound of music (the film). oi! -J

hedgewitch said...

This is ace, dude. (I love field trips but don't put me in charge--I'd be a basketcase if something like this turned up.)

FrankandMary said...

Uninformed & antagonistic can be hella fun. ~Mary

Courtney said...

What a great way to write this! And no, I'm not anxious to chaperone any trips either . . . oy.

Katherine Krige said...

A wonder your heart didn't burst or screams interrupt the show. Oi vey, not a nice way to spend the day at all!

Betsy said...

oh. my. word.

so glad you were alert!

Slamdunk said...

You are much more brave then I am Brian. Fieldtrips are the domain of the Mrs.

chromapoesy.com said...

I laughed at the beginning and held my breath at the end. How terrifying! Breathing children and amazing poetry may be all that can be asked of a night at the Globe.

Lolamouse said...

I stopped chaperoning field trips in middle school. The kids were just too rude and I didn't like having to play policewoman. Kudos to you!

Yousei Hime said...

We should all die with Shakespeare. "Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Shawna said...

"(imagine the look through the glass---
the face of the one left---to the eyes
of a parent, in a foreign place)" ... Oh gosh, how terrifying!

"a fairy queen is in love with an ass
having been blinded by love&flower juice,
& everyone laughing" ... Nice. :)

Glad you got a souvenir tee. LOL.

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Gloria said...

Was so stressed Brian, when the kids were little I were sometimes with them to a ZOO and lost someones (LOL) was terrible finally we find them!

Ed Pilolla said...

high drama! lots of fun.

adeeyoyo said...

Oh, I love this, Brian. Love your sense of humour - slept through the second half, loll! I loved the way you mentioned the lost child at the beginning and then again later... BTW my poem today was built around the word 'rapt' which I woke up with in my head earlier this morning. Odd word...

Lydia said...

Yee Gads, Sire! What a happening, in more ways than one. You may not chose to chaperone again, but it was your (and the pink shirted girl's) destiny to be there this time.

This is just the coolest poem about a Shakespeare play, with a twist of Forget U. Loved it.

poeticlicensee said...

Nice poetry, Oh! Brave One...

Dasuntoucha said...

This is the type of adventure that would make Shakespeare proud...A Chaperone's Tale (^_^)...coming to a stage near you...as always enjoy reading your work...ONE::

adan said...

my oldest girl just took her girl with fifty other little ones to bandera texas from houston, i can imagine she would really like,

"sleep most of the way home, nestled in the noise
of thirty voices that won't quit---but are beautiful
if for no other reason than they are still alive---

an i even got the t-shirt to show for it."

love it brian! ;-)

Mom said...

After 31 years of going on field trips, I have little sympathy for you. haha

Syd said...

I remember being one of the kids late for the bus on a field trip to Natural Bridge. I was deliberating on what to buy my mother and was late getting to the bus. I got scolded and derided. It made an impression. Monitoring kids these days is a chore. I hear you on not wanting to do it again.

The Empress said...

I have learned to predose myself with Tylenol. The sheer volume of their high pitched voices along with the bouncing of the school bus that rattles the teeth out of my head.

The tylenol is my friend on those days.