The coffee table featured an array of magazines:
Life, Look, McCall’s, Redbook, Saturday Evening Post.
A decorative ash tray shared the space,
and there was a cigarette lighter that never worked.
Not that I tried it.  

The TV Guide had a special place on the end table by Dad’s big chair.
He chose the programs; I didn’t mind.
He liked funny shows and westerns.
He was careful about The Twilight Zone.
(I got scared by things like Martians.)  

In the closet I kept comic books in a cardboard box
next to the carpet sweeper.
I spread them out and pressed the pictures into Silly Putty.
I distorted them.  

I had to be very careful with orange drink and snacks
because my mom worked so hard keeping the den clean for us.
I needed to remember that  
we had fun in the den.