All I wanted to say
if you had allowed me to speak
is that I have some concerns.
I’m just thirteen
but what I think matters.
He is a nice guy, yes, I know.
He is quiet and good.
He will never drink
because it interferes with his medication.
I get it. He’s not like Daddy.
he’s picky about food like a little kid
because if Sister and I ever refused
anything with beans, rice, or onions
or every vegetable except corn and potatoes
you would have forced us to eat it anyway.
Now you make two dinners every night
or make us do it.
Will it always be like this?
Why do you laugh sweetly about his behavior
but threaten to punish us for the same?
It’s not fair.
Another situation that’s not fair
is we have to do his laundry
on top of all our other chores.
We have to hang his pants up right away
on special hangers
or we are forced to iron them
as punishment for our laziness.
While we fold towels his way
since our old way was apparently wrong
he watches TV for hours.
We have to put the fluffy wedding gift towels
away in your bedroom closet
but the frayed towels
we are allowed to use
still have the old monogram,
a mix of your name and Daddy’s.
Is this how it will always be?
Because it’s really not fair.
One other thing that’s not fair
is now Sister and I have to take showers very early
to give the water heater enough time
to heat up water for your showers.
When I suggested we get a bigger water heater
like Daddy has
so we can all shower when we want
you said you don’t want to hear about Daddy
and unless I want to pay for a new water heater
I can keep getting up early.
How can I pay for a new water heater?
I’m only thirteen.
It’s just not fair at all.
After we go to bed
Sister and I whisper our gripes,
saying “I know, I know,” over and over
to console each other.
We unite in our frustration
but otherwise we are powerless as mice.
In the dark winter mornings
while our hair is still dripping wet
we watch old Looney Tunes.
We feel sorry for the coyote
who blows himself up
trying to catch that wretched roadrunner.
Again and again the anvils fall on him
or huge red rocks crush him
or a locomotive runs over his face
while he’s just trying to survive.
It’s so very, very unfair.