i usually instill rhymes
in my kids’ heads. brainwash
them with life lessons. hidden
in my stories before bed.

they know all my iniquitys. just
not that they’re about me. all my sin.
all my adventuresome. all my dreams.
just not that it’s their daddy.

it’s imagination. and often i
wonder if half of my dad’s stories
were true. i see him telling my kids.
the stories i gazed to with red

and white stripe spinning eyes.
they must be. because if not he
would have forgotten. like a layer of
snakes skin. old. lost. and left behind.

when my youngest was three, i made up this rap for the potty:

pull up your chonies.
pull up your pants.
flush that toilet.
and wash your hands.

now that he’s four. he memorized it. but he gets mixed up a bit:

pull up your pants.
do a little dance.
wash that toilet.
and flush your hands.

i actually think it’s better.
and he’ll remember it forever.
when he grows up. he’ll be
just like his