Obama is too churchy, Leah says.
What does ‘churchy’ mean? I ask.
I don’t know, she says, shrugging
Leah does understand politics
closer to home–I love you, Mimi.
I love you, too, I say, wondering
what this is going to cost me–
ice cream, another stuffed cow,
a visit to the farm to pet Coco the lamb?
I don’t have a brother or sister,
Leah says. Can I get a hamster?
The pet store crosses my mind, briefly.
I heed my own words: you buy it, you own it.
I’ve cared for all the pets I intend to: six dogs,
several cats, dozens of fish, and a bird.
You’ll have to convince Mommy and Daddy.
My refusal drains Leah’s patience.
I hate you, she says.
You’re not always my favorite buttercup
either, I say, giving her a bear hug,
which she wiggles out of.
In a minute we’ll be best friends
and take our tree branch walking sticks
out on the path again.