In the early morning, a mother struggles and cries out
in that way unique to women since Eden
and pushes forth a daughter,
the most beautiful of her kind, the mother is certain.
Mother lifts her daughter to her breast
but the baby suckles only weakly and shivers once…
And, as her mother holds her,
she grows cold and stiff
for reasons known only to her people’s gods.
Her people dig a hole and scatter pollen inside,
and the baby is placed inside to rest,
the first time her small body is ever apart from her mother.
And winter goes and spring comes.
Forty thousand times again.
Before hands dig into the dirt and find the bones
and lift them to the sun
where they grow warm again.