my merry
Sister poem #7:
RED-HANDED In Canoga Park: Root Causes & How It Is All My Fault
by Alexis Rhone Fancher

We were five, and three. I had just learned how to ride. You sat behind me on my blue bike, hung on tightly the four blocks to the drugstore. They had toys. Paddle Ball, Jacks, stuffed animals. I was entranced by the My Merry Kitchen set. Thumb-sized boxes of Ivory Snow, Kleenex, Ajax, and my favorite, a perfect replica bottle of Windex. The stuff of my dollhouse dreams. The restraint I had exhibited on previous visits failed me. I jabbed my finger through the cellophane, that tiny, blue bottle irresistible. You palmed the tiny Clorox, reached for the Brillo pads. “Hey!” the manager shouted, his bigness looming down the aisle. There was no place to hide.When I ran, you froze. When I got on my bike and sped off, you faced the music. This day has defined our sisterhood. I was five for Pete’s sake. Forgive me.

PHOTO: My Merry Supermarket set (Windex bottle in upper left), circa late 1950s-early 1960s.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexis Rhone Fancher’s poem, “when I turned fourteen, my mother’s sister took me to lunch and said:” was chosen by Edward Hirsch for inclusion in The Best American Poetry of 2016. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (Sybaritic Press, 2014), and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (KYSO Flash Press, 2015). She is published in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Slipstream, Wide Awake:Poets of Los Angeles, Hobart, and elsewhere. Since 2013 Alexis has been nominated for seven Pushcart Prizes and four Best of The Net awards. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly. Find her at