They were small but we pretended not to notice.
They washed their own socks, they had their way.
We adored them, we were sad to see them go.
When winter came, we discovered they’d cut
the sleeves off all our shirts and larded the furnace
with our manuscripts and what was left of the lace.
Then we realized their perfect manners
were just ways of making fun of us.
In other news, we fully understood too late
the strategy of jumpy psychos picking fights—
“you lookin’ at me?” so commands your gaze
that when you say you’re not in fact you are.
Things in the attic, of course, straddled our minds–
spiked nut-crackers, screwy nails and studded nets,
the little arsenal some previous owner left behind.
We practiced denying they were ours so often
our aped innocence made them truly ours.