Dickie Sweeney and David Meyer
don’t seem to care
when she sidles up
to the neighborhood boy group
assembled in Roger’s backyard
to throw a football. They also build
snow forts out of “bushel basket”
bricks in winter or sail popsicle stick
boats in the alley rivulets in summer.

At Eileen’s house, the other girls
cut out paper dolls or play dress-ups
with the bag of clothes her Mom
has designated for The Salvation Army.

Dinnertime, Mom and Dad tease her,
say, “Please pass the potatoes, Tom.”

Her older sister says she smells
like a garbage can so after the plates
are washed and dried, she sneaks
into Mom and Dad’s bedroom
to splash Mom’s Evening in Paris
cologne on her shoulders and wrists.

After high school, she enters a convent
where she is neutered like a dog.