We’re at an old Catskill hotel.
I wet my panties; mad mommy
terrifies me, so I hide them under
a shed. Already, an adept liar at five,
I deny knowledge of underpants,
so she drops it- no consequences.
Of course, she knows, I know where
they are, but I’m too young to know
she knows I know. Lying works!
I will deny crossing forbidden streets,
taking coins, eating food, smoking
even though I smell like an ashtray.
Energized, I weave tales of why
my report card states I talk too much,
missing cookies, strangers’ cars, dark
bars. I’ll tell tales of why I’m late,
dirty, where I went and with whom.
My brother is onto me; he calls me
on it, but Mom ignores him: I am
the favored girl-child. Even caught,
I still weave new fibs amidst facts.
Mom and I tango around my lies.