Truth is the nurse had to test four times. She thought on your first day you couldn’t hear. But the everything you hear now is down the hall four rooms and two closed doors away.
Your ears smooth shells
tumbled to a shine do hear the sand
through the blaring waves. They pick out every grain of news
and you have questions.
I want to mute your ears with a hug.
I want to tell you the truth.
I want to dampen truth.
The bullies won. Do I teach you that? How hope frizzles out like a sparkler when our Independence ends? And you’re left with the stench of rotten eggs in your throat?
and spelling lists
and half-eaten lunches aren’t the only things you bring home from school anymore.
I teach you to borrow from the tens and you teach me it’s called ungrouping.
I teach you that pussy
is another name for a cat
and you teach me that the truth
we found together in picture books is no longer the truth for you.