Today’s writing was completed as part of The Communal Pen writing workshop held at the Blue Ridge Arts Council on July 11, 2020.
The Sears and Roebuck Wee Alert
My baby brother –
five years younger and
I knew he was a problem
the day they brought him home
to the pastorium.
The early signs were there
in so many ways, but none
more so than in his enuresis;
he was a full-fledged bedwetter,
and my parents grew more and more
concerned with his disorder.
Our grandmother
a lifelong Sears and Roebuck
catalog sales representative
suggested the Wee Alert,
and it wasn’t from the Wish Book
but from the more serious
thick catalog I used
as a booster seat.
They bought it for the standard
twenty percent employee
discount.
We hooked him up before bed
and honestly I was scared for him
when I saw all the wires.
Sure enough, it didn’t take long.
The wee alert awakened
everyone in the house
except for the bedwetter
who snoozed on in his
self-made pee pool.
There we stood
tousle-headed and groggy-eyed
in our pajamas
in his room
littered with Matchbox cars
and Little People
who knew the family secret.
We tried every hype and gimmick
-even combining prayer and
voodoo rituals-
but what we tried to undo
he simply outgrew.
Today at 50,
he’s still the only sound sleeper.
The rest of us wake to a whisper,
compliments of the
Sears and Roebuck Wee Alert.

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