She was not the first child born
but rather the first one to survive.
Death stole her brother and sister,
siblings still wet with dew. Life
ushered her to the front of the line.
She should have been the third—
traditionally the clown, the jokester,
life-bringer to parties, laughter by the
barrels. But after being crowned
she put away such thirdish things.
She’s built worlds since then, this
organizing principal vowed to keeping
everyone alive. I’d not be if not
for her. But I’ve noticed lately, now
and then, the original order restored.
And I’ve heard my mother’s mirth.
Cover photo by Mat Reding.