Your brother’s birth was a languid affair;
he lingered in my womb well past the day
we anticipated his arrival.
We coaxed and cajoled, then push came to shove,
and when I could no longer shove nor push
they cut him out and laid him on my chest.
He met us with a melancholic gaze
and almost seemed to shrug, as if to say
he’d meet the world and take it as it came.
Not so with you, oh daughter of my heart:
your birth was like swallowing an earthquake
and left me shaken and breathless and torn.
You were just a tiny scrap of a thing—
how did you bring so much power to bear
as you forged yourself a path out of me?
If births tell fortunes, let me say it now:
my fiery, scrappy, earthquake of a girl,
I’ll always bet on you against the world.