For Leelah


You buy your baby

Blue onesies, racecars, and little footballs

When your baby’s hair gets to his shoulders

You cut it short

And say how handsome he looks

You love your baby boy

You send your little boy off to kindergarten

In a shirt that says “Ladies’ Man”

He flashes you a jack-o-lantern smile

And looks up at you with hopeful doe eyes

As your little boy

Asks if he can have a Barbie doll

And wear a pretty dress

“Like the other little girls”

You pat your little boy’s head

And tell him “no”

And yell when he cries crocodile tears

You love your baby boy


You send your sixteen-year-old son

To a local Christian therapist

You say your son has sinned

He likes boys and dresses and long hair

And says his name is Leelah

You just want him to be “normal”

To be your baby, Joshua

So God can love him like

You love your baby boy


Today you tell yourself

Your son got hit by a truck


You cried as you picked out a suit

And deleted the suicide note

You showed her

You’d rather bury your baby boy

Than love your baby girl

This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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