Boy Child

Aug 1, 2012 | 2012 Summer - Then and Now, Articles, Poetry

By Carole Spearin McCauley

I birthed you because I wanted you.
They said, how odd in an age of abortion
I helped you outgrow diapers, crayons,
dayglo guns, baseball bats,
pre-algebra, hair mousse, magic cards,
Dungeons and Dragons,
the Indiana Jones fan club, your first cell phone.
Yesterday you told me I’m weird because I’m a writer.
Also the only mother who won’t join the PTA.
“Better weird than boring, huh?” I answer.
You hug me, and we laugh.
If you were a girl, I wouldn’t know what to say
about what comes next:
how to be not only weird but queer.
Today you beg me never to say your nickname—
“Bubble”—in front of your friends.
You’ve outgrown Bright and Bouncy. Now you’re Serious.
About your first girlfriend who arrives in our yard
to bicycle ride with her, even though you hardly know her.
Isn’t that weird?

Wait till I tell you about my first girlfriend.

Carole has written 12 books—medical nonfiction, literary and lesbian mysteries. Her short work has appeared in about 200 periodicals and anthologies, including The New York Times, USA Today, Redbook, Self, North American Review, Women:Omen, North Atlantic Review, Lesbian Short Fiction, and Girl Jock.

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