by Patricia Callan
Joanne, grade three, knew who she was —
at sports, usually the best.
Some kids mocked, some didn’t care.
She wore boys’ clothes and hacked her hair.
Aunties mocked the way she dressed.
She knew who she was. Let them stare.
When kids teased, she’d take the dare;
beat up friends when she was stressed.
More noticed. Others . . . didn’t care.
Tennis and baseball . . . sports were the best.
Kids aped her, laughed at how she dressed.
In grade six, worried how and where
Jo would fit in and in despair,
he ached to have it done, obsessed
as more folks noticed, came to care.
But in high school, Joe could share
who he was and join the rest.
Among friends, he fit somewhere.
No one noticed or felt scared.
Copyright © 2019 by Patricia Callan.