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Amy’s April 16


Not again, she says, when
the game times out, when
the gallon bottoms out, when
the goofy grin shuts down.

Not again–the floorful of nonpareils, staining
my foot blue, green, brightest ochre.

Not again–the faint smell of urine deepens
gets closer the towels hang in the tub

Not again–roll the dice, your turn
don’t waste it–do you even care who wins?

Not again–email the teacher the service coordinator
the doctor the camp director the psychiatrist
the psychologist the parent coordinator the program director

Not again–bundle up the clothes outgrown buy a new
batch a size or two larger remove the name tags
so some smaller girl can use the PJs the Tshirts the yoga pants
the Disney Princess and Snoopy tank tops

Not again–change the sheets, put down absorbent pads meant
to cover a chair and lay it straight across to cover the mattress
in just the right place predict where it will happen

Not again–we took the wrong street and pow we had to do a
three point turn and back out there is no parking there is no
space, no race, twenty minutes late, thirty, forty-five, an hour.

Not again–the fridge is open, crumbs on the floor and empty
takeout containers everywhere toothmarks on the parmesan, the garbage
overflowing, a tub of berries rolling around and squashed

Note again–the ashes the ashes the ashes we all fall down

Not again–the family drawing has four and we are only three

Not again–every notebook, note pad, sketch book, journal,
composition book in sight–even the blank paper from the printer–
taken in possession and covered with spindly-legged dogs

Not again–diaper trod the squish again the smell the smell
the grit wear slippers wear flip flops the floor is covered
again again again

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