young girl & I wash hands
watching ourselves in the mirror,
a piece of paper taped to it,
‘please wash your hands,’
so we do.
our hair is nearly the same color,
her’s a bit darker.
about my sister's age.
she finishes before I do,
uses hand dryer, leaves.
I continue to scrub.
every little crevice.
when I was her age,
I washed up to my wrists each time.
my hands became bumpy & dry,
& I continued.
the overwhelming need to feel clean,
instead of scrubbing, now,
my brother sings happy birthday as he washes before dinner.
this is the recommended amount.
he pauses, not knowing what name to sing to,
then continues to the last line,
happy birthday to you.