Today you have a doll. You think

it’s real. You call it Jane.

You are in your room with Jane,

laughing and talking. I

come in and look at you, but I

don’t stay because my stomach

suddenly turns. I haven’t been

real for weeks (I thought that

would be a relief when it happened).

I have never seen you so happy.

Isn’t that odd?

In the hall the nurses tell me

everything you’ve said about Jane.

They think it’s sweet. They’re

glad you’re happy. You kept

trying to get out of bed before they brought you

Jane, trying to find a baby you

heard crying. They were afraid you’d

hurt yourself.

I should be glad you’re happy, too,

but instead I’m thinking,

“Why me? I am the daughter of

some alien creature from outer

space.” I can hear your voice

lifting and falling. I can

almost hear Jane answering.

You are telling her why she

has to be careful, why

she has to remember to hold your hand.

by Cher Bibler