The (Wonderful) Terrible Two

So many faults.

So many dropped balls,

And missed calls,

And “Holy shit! Thank God you had your seatbelt on.”

Not to mention those late bills that caused

The lights and the A/C to go out

In the middle of the summer.

Don’t worry,

They came on eventually.


It’s true, my mother and father are a mess.

So much love in their hearts,

They forgot about the rest.

They forgot about school attendance and insurance,

So many things they never could have predicted.

College funds. Hell, even college.

Oops, they forgot to tell me we’re being evicted.

At the head of my dinner table

Is Peter Pan and Wendy,

A family of seven lost boys and girls,

Balancing the pocketbook always made my dad dizzy.


My father toyed with my life a few times

With his faulty mechanics on my car,

(Taping things is the only way

He knows to make them stick.)

But he never endangered my heart,

Always making sure it was not a half-full cup,

But a fully full quart.

No use crying over spilt milk,

And I never did, because there was always more.


They are always in the red,

And the black and the blue,

Falling over more times

Than they actually remember to tie their shoes.

But me?

There’s not a color

That I love more than their optimism,

And their kindness and compassion,

And the kind of aha! I get from

Seeing two people so in love,

They laugh when they’re packing up the house

That they are being forced out of.


They are the outlaws,

The ones in imaginary shackles

Who will continue to be my Robin Hoods,

Stealing my heart every time they call me ‘baby.’

People will point, and judge,

And shake their heads.

So sure they have it figured out

Better than my mom and dad.

And it’s true, they might.

Because my mother still has trouble

Reading her tarot cards, despite

The overwhelming premonitions

She gets when she looks at me

And sees the woman I am meant to be.


So the next time the alarm goes off

And they pack up again,

Moving like a circus with déjà vu,

And a bad accountant,

Take one last look at my mom and dad—

The ones with the arms so wide,

They can circle the universe again and again.


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