Pants on Fire

I used to lie all the time

By all the time

I mean I lied so much

started to believe

my lies

I have contact lenses

You just can't see them

I have 300 trophies

In my attic

I have a step-sister

Parents not divorced?

Oh maybe they're not.

But I still have a stepsister.

She lives in Minnesota.

I lied

Feared the day

I'd grow a Pinocchio nose.

Never grew one.

But I didn't outgrow the lies.

I lied to impress.

Lied to transport

myself from a reality

that I thought was unexciting.

Loved to wield stories

pumping them out

letting them catch air

my friends, their eyes wide

following the story line like bubbles floating

high, pie in the sky.

When the truth would fall

eventually, rapidly, splat,

I entertained with a new one.

I lied to my parents

Would've called,

Couldn't find a phone.

Phone lines down.

Yes, that's it.

Choked by the imaginary phone cords

I could never disentangle myself

Just told more lies.

Until my entire girlhood


puzzle pieces left with friends

they learned none of them fit together

I have no souvenirs from girlhood.


My sister

my Jimminy Cricket.


My husband

my confessor.


My boss

the one who wanted to make a charitable contribution to the fund of my fictitious relative whose funeral I attended when I played hookie from work.


My sister tried.

My husband denied.

My boss made my life so hellish I had to quit.

So I did.

I quit.

My job.

And lying.

My prayer is to stay a quitter.

And to show

my daughter

the folly

of girls who let their pants

catch a flame.