Lisa Ampleman

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Lisa Ampleman

The Three-Year-Old in the Fertility Clinic Waiting Room

declares he’s
             Superman, swoops
to the trash can,
             scrambles onto
a chair and tramples
             a magazine
as he stomps
             his feet, nearly
losing a sandal,
             jubilant in
his defeat of
             the villain,
is shushed by
             his flustered mother
as she tries to fill
             in an endless form,
hurtles from
             end table to
brochure rack and
             back again, skids
to a stop below
             the pastel floral
wall, the video
             screen that
alternates between
             a rosy baby
and examples
             of payment plans.
Imp, you are
             an aberration here.
             noisy, you are what
we bystanders
             do not hope
and hope for.

Lisa Ampleman reads “The Three-Year-Old in the Fertility Clinic Waiting Room”


Lisa Ampleman is the author of a chapbook and three full-length books of poetry, including Mom in Space (forthcoming 2024) and Romances (2020), both with LSU Press. Her poems and essays have appeared recently in journals such as 32 Poems, Colorado Review, Ecotone, Image, Shenandoah, and Southern Review. She is the managing editor of The Cincinnati Review and poetry series editor at Acre Books.