Nine Months

A child could have been
conceived and born
in the time you’ve been

gone. A child was
conceived and born
in that exact span of days

decades ago—your eldest.
Somewhere there’s a recording
of you singing “Happy Birthday”

to her. And what better reminder
about the cycle of life. You gave me—
your third—the blessing

and curse of counting. Not enough
time has passed
for gratitude to outscore

grief. And yet today’s celebration
of my sister brings us closer
to evening the score.

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