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Lillian

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You are scribbles of waxy crayon
darting outside printed lines,
because you want to make your own lines:
your own rules

You are the very last fruit snack
we share
even though we both know
it’s yours

You are the bubbly music blaring from black headphones,
and teasing the empty silence
of our smoky living room,
because you’re too beautifully bouncy
for this sad place

You are the stubborn silence
as you curl,
unmoving,
into the corner of our plush brown couch
pouting over a little time-out
Or when you perch on the very edge
of your Dora clad bed
while mom and dad yell,
and fight
just outside your bedroom door

You are the first, “I’m sorry”
whether you’re apologizing to me
or mom
or dad
or the dog
You’re still the first to try to fix it:
to put us back together

You are the Elmer’s glue
holding our family together
I know because I remember
what it was like
without you



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