Aria leaned against a doorjamb,
Gawked at an empty hallway.
Her father said moments before,
“I need private time. Takes your sisters into the lobby.”
As they exited two men pale as whiteout entered the room,
Her father’s shadow was then abridged by a closing door.
The girls wandered into the lobby
And desirous of entertainment
The 3yr old
And the 5yr old
Began shuffling together menus
Placed on the lobby tables
For the guests’ hunger pains.
Aria followed behind them,
Correcting her sisters’ follies.
Pleading with them to behave.
But the girls continued their havoc.
The 5yr old walked towards the Front Desk
And clenched a handful of business cards
Displayed on the counter; she then threw them
Into the air.
Aria screamed at her sister!
While brandishing a stare reminiscent of a tired mother
Apologized to the desk clerk.
“It’s okay,” he said, “I’ll clean them up.”
He asked how old she was.
9, she replied.
And the clerk was overcome with a sad admiration.
He contemplated contacting the police,
But past welfare checks amounted to nothing more
Than a stern finger waving,
Like a principal disciplining school children.
He walked around to the front of the desk,
Collected the cards and peered over at Aria.
She was leaning against a doorjamb
That entered the employee break room.
That’s where her father found her
As he shuffled down the hallway.
“Is that you damn kids making that noise!
I can hear you down the fucking hall!”
He pointed a trembling index
Towards Aria’s face, “you and your sisters need to behave
Or we’re going to get kicked out.”
He threw his hands into the air
Like a frantic victim being mugged,
“You want to go back to the Salvation Army?”
Aria stared at the floor
And remained quiet.
She continued doing so
As she followed her father
Back to the room.