Unfair, 1991


1991 photo0002

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.

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