The rain moved just like our momma did when she’d tuck all three of us in.

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16: American Sentence for Real Toads

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(Inspired by) your Birthday

WHEN YOU CAME HOME
Both your lip-glossed sisters
Smeared your fresh head and
I cranked Sister Sledge singing
We are Family in the kitchen

For your age in days,
I punched three birthday candles
Into a small, round, pink cake I baked
Before hospital bracelets and
Your umbilical cord was cut

You couldn’t sing
You couldn’t blow a candle
You couldn’t eat cake, but
Holding you secure on one hip,
I lit those sparkled sticks with my free hand

And began to sing Happy Birthday to You,
(Isn’t this fun?)
Happy Birthday to You,
(Aren’t I a great mom?)
Happy Birthday, dear bayyy-beee…

What’s that smell?!
Pinching, sibling fingers
Snuffed your candles out.
This is it, my small, round, pink baby–
THIS IS HOME