the first time I heard of it was underneath the jungle gym when Sophie told us in a whisper. it was just me her
and my brother squatting in the dirt and us two trying to hide our wide eyed surprise by saying we already knew all about it.

the second time I heard was in the bathroom
when mom cornered me told me to sit down and with the porcelain toilet seat pressed cool against the backs of my legs, she used her hands to explain how exactly it happens and pretending I didn’t know, I opened my eyes wide and said oh.

once I thought I was grown up enough
to discuss it openly

but the last time I heard about it, yesterday
at a picnic table out in the sunlight, I didn’t pretend either way
just sat and in my head said what makes a difference is not knowing.

Ellen Meyer is a Michigan native. She will be graduating Aquinas College next May with a degree in Sociology. Upon graduation, she plans to both avoid growing up for as long as possible, and travel to Eastern Europe.