Volume 24, Number 2

Raising Them

We put them to bed in wooden boxes
under the painted, out-of-reach stars.
They went without milk.
We gave them furry animals to chew on.
Kiss, kiss, we said.
Stop crying, we said.
Dress up, we said, and sewed them
into the clothes of pirates and princesses.
Our anger taught them to be kind.
Our infidelities taught them to love.
Be open to possibility, we said
and spun them around in blindfolds.
They have houses. They have jobs.
We hope one day they’ll have dead of their own.

—Chris Bullard