One child very much alive,
one at the point of death.
I walked out the screen door of my heart
and laid in the grass of the wide backyard.
A woman who looked like God
walked close and sat beside me.
I turned to ask her Why but saw her face.
Beyond haggard and full of joy,
like the mother of ten billion children,
like a mother who’d seen a hundred children grow
to be more than she’d ever dreamed for them,
like a mother who’d buried a thousand million more
before she had the breath to name them.
“I tried,” she said.
“I know,” I said,
and covered her hand with mine
as she wept.