You, a two-year-old with a Goldwater button on your nightstand,
better that the television isn’t color, better that you grab the pull string of your
duck on wheels and toddle to the playroom, dragging a rose-print Turkish towel
down the stairs and across the sculpted carpet, stop to study
the particular green-brown sludge of its color and manage an
alley-oop past the coffee table with the sharp edge that will have its
way with your baby brother’s lip in a couple of years. What are you
lookin’ at? You seem to sneer when Mother steps into the dining room
for a minute to check on her firstborn, the girl she named for a newspaper poem and
a spoiled little sister from a famous book for girls. For a moment it’s just you and her, since the
New One is sleeping upstairs, he’s always sleeping or laughing or eating, but when he cries—this
friend you’ll love like a brother, I swear—she runs, wiping her hands on her apron and scuffing the
linoleum with her rubber-tipped heel, to lift him up, hold him, hum into his neck.

Amy Lemmon is the author of two poetry collections: Fine Motor (Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Press, 2008) and Saint Nobody (Red Hen Press, 2009) and co-author, with Denise Duhamel of ABBA: The Poems (Coconut Books, 2010) and Enjoy Hot or Iced: Poems in Conversation and a Conversation (Slapering Hol Press, 2011). Her poems and essays have appeared in Rolling Stone, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Verse, Court Green, The Journal, Barrow Street, and many other magazines and anthologies. She is currently associate professor of English at the Fashion Institute of Technology.