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the sum of things


Everything is two:

our Mother’s hands

– from the kitchen, the vegetable garden, from sewing two replacement buttons (not an exact match, but they would do)

two strong hands

– hoisting baskets of other peoples’ wet sheets, work taken in to feed her two boys

two soft hands

– cradling our spines, caressing our cheeks, stroking our hair when scraped knees brought hot tears


copious cloths, in piles of two,

barely enough to deal with the infinite mess of us two,

us two bodies, from hers


while from the newsprint beneath our tub

the faces of a couple look up,

oblivious to our impish majesties


our father pulls faces, pulling each ear and crossing his eyes

to the delight of us two

two brothers


I count to two,

I needn’t count more:

parents, mother’s hands, me and my brother, piles of folded laundry, two adults and two children, the tub holding the two of us

my brother’s two teeth


Us –

two, two of two

everything is two

we two among twos


everything is one




The husband and wife team behind We Speak Your Heart are published and prize-winning writers. As well as being irretrievably in love themselves, they have a deep respect for human dignity.

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