she couldn’t remember not being the midwife

for the goats, sheep, llamas

cows seemed to go off too far on their own for the birthings

she, totem to the totems

wore a green apron at the birthing

with a pocket for all her colors

and another pocket for the jar of molasses she gave the mommas as a final reward

sometimes a final sendoff

leaving a licorice scent on momma’s final breath

then, she would take the momma’s babies

clean them herself with the green apron

then find another momma

squeeze some of that momma’s milk into what was left in the molasses jar

and put that mixture on the new babies’ heads

the lure of molasses and familiar scent of self securing the adoption

only then could she bury the breathless momma

deep into the Momma’s dirt, earth

she’d sprinkle lilacs on top

because lilacs and babies come together

and lilacs and breathless momma’s float off into the wind together

then she’d sit on the hill over the lake

watching the sky

and realize

that she had just midwifed blue into the world,

the world needed blue

for the deepest parts

and the highest parts

and the lonely parts

and the birthday parts

so she put blue in the pocket of her apron with the other colors

and cried



the first hour, a marathon

tell me a story,


I want to tell you mine


let’s start at the beginnings

that point where we are indistinguishable from each other

that point, one

where we begin to untangle


like a braid

someone’s laundry clothesline

someone’s fishing line

a long telephone wire stretching from the past

a vessel’s standard rigging

a kite string

a guitar string

the ribbon in her hair

a shoelace that no one has learned to tie yet

the thread in a quilt

the stitches in a soccer ball

a yo-yo, down and up again


and up again


tell me a story,


I want to tell you mine

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