A Daughter Dreams of Being Their Son


When I dreamt of being their son,
I wore my hair mussed to breakfast
and moved like a chimpanzee in argyle socks.

I lost my faith to Sunday television
and built a hammock in bamboo trees.
I posted signs saying, No Girls Allowed.

I misplaced love in the name of things
and tallied chores on two fingers crossed
one slingshot hidden in the other hand.

I stuffed dead squirrels in my father's pockets
and let day-old eggs collect in the sink
and never thought once about anyone but me.

I traipsed around like cock of the walk.
I punched all barriers with primeval strength
and pushed over anything that leaned

my way. I never cried, I never cried,
I never cried! I swallowed the word macho
with pride. When I dreamt of being their son

no one cared if I lied. My heart was hollow
as the oversize oak with its grand façade.
I browbeat my sister and wrote on her face,

No Girls Allowed, NO Girls Allowed!

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