Like kids in the playground
one pretended to be sensitive
though she threw stones
the other professed hardness
though she was made of rubber bones
the middle child
didn’t know how to play with others
she tore the stimens of pink flowers
that were yellow and heavy with pollen
rubbed it on her palms like mustard
hoping it would transport her
away from cruelties played for sport
by those broken by life growing as weeds
by the onslaught of fumes from passing cars
a toxic perfume for those with enough lead
she was made of water
they could throw her
into the sky and make it
rain with regret