We are forged in fire
each of us.
Tragedies that pass through our lives
are forces that
bring strength to our bones
and guide us toward heaven.
A young girl holds an infant on her lap.
The infant is distraught
We all wonder what she will do
and it is clear who among us are mothers
as looks pass from face to face
in communion, acknowledgement.
The woman beside me shakes her head.
“Too young,” she says to me.
“She doesn’t know what to do,” I reply.
“Mmm hmm,” the woman says.
the girl stares blankly into space.
The child continues to scream and cough.
It’s difficult to know which to mother -
the Mother or the child.
A woman approaches.
She places her bag between her feet
and lifts the child from the girl’s lap,
cooing and scolding in her voice,
she puts the babe to her shoulder,
rocks back and forth,
whispers in his native tongue.