To Understand the Difference Between Birth and Life

The air was cool that morning,

Matching the sky’s lavender and peachy hues.

Vehicular white noise

And the wind’s quiet whispers

Lulled the peaceful baby to sleep.

The baby was covered with an old ivory towel

And lay inside a paper box.

Her cheeks were rosy

at the touch of Autumn’s cold breath

And she was dressed in a onesie the color of vanilla.

Small, red flower speckled her clothing

And faint flecks

Of ebony hair

were lifted gently by the breeze.


It was typical to find small girls like this,

Nestled in the heart of urbanization

And rural villages alike.

It was typical for small souls

Like her

To be shouldered with the label

As an “economic burden”

As soon as they’re out of the womb.


At the age of nine,

She lay in a twin bed, crying.

“I want to see my mom and dad,”

She sobbed through sharp inhales and sniffles.

Not the mother who raised her, but the mother who gave her the precious gift of birth.

Naivety compelled her heart

Into longing for the mother and father she’d never known.


At the age of twelve,

She saw an unfamiliar face in the mirror

Staring straight back at her.

The girl she saw in the mirror was

“Too tan,”

“Had hair and eyes too dark,”

“Eyes too small,”

And “No nose bridge,”

Unlike her friends around her

Who all had

Lighter skin,

Bright blonde or brown hair,

Larger eyes,

And a more prominent nose bridge.

To be beautiful, she thought,

She needed to look like

her mother

and those around her.


At age seventeen,

She stretched her hands out

Toward the white and pale pink plum blossoms overhead.

The air was warm that evening,

Matching the sky’s fiery display of lilac and tangerine.

Vehicular white noise

And the chirping of sparrows

Wrapped a blanket around her uneasy heart.

Her ebony hair, now tinted brown, blew softly in the breeze

While her tan skin glowed with the sun’s flooding rays.

She was with her mother,

Who she held in a tight embrace.

This was her mother,

Not the mother who gave birth to her, but the one who gave her the precious gift of life.

The plum blossoms around them

Danced joyfully,

Rejoicing the end of a day

And the beginning of a new one.


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