by Barbara Dennis

O.D. is not the place for me
I've stated this before
I cannot stand the slatted bench
It makes me feel so sore.

The sandwiches are made on bread
But fillings they all lack,
Tip Top never tasted quite
Like this new enriched hard-tack.

I do not eat; I sit and think
Then comes the childish banter
My thoughts go wondering askew
My mind slows to a canter.

SO: Off from the bench, on to the floor
Ten pace march to the culprits screen-door
Armed for action, flashlight in hand
I sweetly make my first demand:
"Close your mouth, close your eyes,
You'd better be quiet all you guys."

A chitter, a chatter, they don't plan to stop
Me is ready to blow my top.
They talk incessantly---
The Noise Association
They make me question procreation.

"Something must be done," says me,
"Can't take it anymore."
Then I hear the calming sound of some young babbler snore.

The children are quiet,
All in their beds,
Visions of CANTEEN
Dance and their heads.

But: Although this bunk now is quiet,
They succeeded in inciting a contagious riot.

SO: The runs to the next bunk
At Roger Bannister speed
Hoping my O.D. authority
They will pleasantly heed.

Me reasons--me raves, me rants and me farbles
Each camper's convinced that
Me's lost my marbles.

Me temperature's rising,
But then I remember
The earnest words
Of another staff member:

"Unless you've gone to "Tanta Tech"
You won't know how to have a shrek."

But diligently I've apprenticed at Tanta's side
So I know that in me a shrek resides.

Me mind is made up
There is not a doubt,
It's time to let that shrekie out.

Me grits my teeth, me face turns red
Me eyes is bulgin' in my head.

Awards come yelling, swelling telling
Campers-back in me no patience is dwelling.
At long, last it's quiet,
My fists I unclench
And I sit down again
On the O.D. bench.

I take out the book
I've only half read,
But after reading two pages
My flashlight goes dead.

I'm annoyed and I'm tired
I'm all by my lonesome
The quiet is killing,
So I sit and I groan-some.