Lies I Told My Third Child
The stuffed bear left on the plane did not
really come back home from Curaçao;
the one restored to your frantic hands was bought
at Toys “R” Us and dressed in sunglasses
and tiny Luau shirt by—me. Polar Bears
actually do not, as we told you then, enjoy
tropical weather. And “Baby Billy,” who
needed your binkie so much more than you?
He did not exist. I don’t know if Christ rose,
but Santa was Dad, and the world is not
your or anyone’s oyster to be pried open
and slurped. And it’s not true that who you are
—girl or boy—can be usurped by your birth:
people just are. Either. Neither. Sometimes, both.