Eleven o clock.

Dad is half-asleep,
sprawled over the fake-leather couch
with the remote in his lap,
bathed in the light
of late-night television programming.

From the kitchen, I can hear
screaming at my sister to finish her homework.
The damn stubborn girl doesn't listen,
and continues sulking like a three-year old.

As always.

would you stop WASTING your time
and do your WORK
so you can get to BE-E-ED,

comes Mother's shrill insistence.

But my pathetic nothing-like-me sister
just starts crying and whining,
- as always -
and Mother gets frustrated and upset,
- as always -
and Dad finally looses his patience and yells
louder than both of them put together!

And both are very quiet for a while.

I can't help but wince,
lying all curled up on my mattress
just a handful of metres above them,
one eye open and