Spring 1990 • Vol. XII No. 2 |

Mira

Mira in a black and white photograph, four days old, looks anxious, her eyes squinting, her forehead wrinkled as if trying to understand someone who is speaking too quietly, or perhaps in a foreign language. We have her propped against the candlestick my mother gave us. Soon she'll be here on her long journey from India. Her first stop was the hospital where she was abandoned at birth by her mother, a woman who fled without leaving her name. We will care for her one night on her way to my sister, Madeline, who lives in Portland and has been waiting now for many months, through many delays. Now that it is spring and the light comes so soon, I wake earlier and earlier. Even before 5, the sky begins to whiten. I make coffee and lie back on the couch across the room from Mira propped against her candlestick. I'm tired and don't speculate about her future or who I will be in it or how I will love her and come to hold out my hand to her, naturally and without fuss, the way an uncle do

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