The Ecuadorian neighbor lady
who has too many small dogs in her care
often chases Ocho, yelling in Spanish for him to come home
as he chases my cats and barks incessantly through the fence.  

She has, although she hasn’t one noticeable grey hair in her ponytail,
an untold number of children and grandchildren in ages ranging from
colorful toddler toys in the garden to extra pick-up trucks in the driveway
and soccer goal posts made of PVC pipe in the front yard. 

Carmen took the long way around to the corner to get to the laundromat
because we were in the front yard, I thought. She did not cut through, as they all normally do,
tripping through the grass and bushes and over the gutter,
detaching it from the house with bangs and crunches and scrapes.

“It’s a nice night for a walk,” I say to greet her. “I am making laundries,”
she says without stopping. “There are too many babies in my house. It’s Sunday,”
she says in disbelief, “and I am making laundries.” Even with arms loaded
with baskets of clothes, she took the long way home.

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Amy Lynn Hess earned her undergraduate degree in theatre and interpretation from Central Michigan University, her MA in theater history and criticism from Ohio University, and her MFA in creative writing from Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Hess has been teaching in the Atlanta area since 2008 and publishes the Gypsy Daughter Chapbook series.