Her hair was short. A kind of long Bob. She was day-cared for the night time working Mom. So she found my lap familiar. First it was story time. Sat her there. Moved her arms as if they were an extension of we can be ridiculous sometimes. She’d find it again at nursery rhyme. How to get to her? From behind her I hummed the ABCs she liked proudly to point out along the walls length strip of paper. Like origami my mind began to make her. Wrapped my arms around and kept my hands in. Folded myself into the one lucky enough to clean the shit from a too old to be in diaper. Together we bent ourselves against the lines drawn. Along the to be perforated seams. Let her 1 (clap). Hey are you there? 2 (clap, clap). Hey are you here? Clap any way you want to. Take my lap and use my hands. Find me a cut
from where the pattern leads. I’ll let you take me.
About the poet:
Lisa M. Dougherty is the author of the chapbook Small as Hope in the Helicopter Rain (Cervena Barva Press 2018) and coauthor of the chapbookThe Answer is Not Here (Nightballet Press 2019). She lives in Erie, PA, with her husband Sean and two daughters, Amara Rumi and Andaluzja Akhmatova.