Rebecca Foust

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.