Letting the Wind In


             after “Hills Like White Elephants”


I always thought I was second

             in a line that starts with a ghost girl


but today she told me a story,

             a trip to New York hugging the coast


all the way up, of parents, of dips

             in the road that sent shooting pains


up her spine. Suddenly, I become third.

             She says, cried the whole way there


and back. Says, I didn’t know Roe & Wade

             were coming yet. Says, I didn’t say


before because I wanted to save you.

             I want to tell her, like the trees, we pass on


broken seeds in our roots. I want to tell

             her the wind has changed now,


that when it blows through a forest

             of mothers and living daughters,


it doesn’t smell like hospital rooms

             in buildings with hidden entrances,


but instead I say, I wish you’d told me

             sooner.

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