another chance

years before she became a christian
and embraced the concept of heaven
she hoped her daughters would be reborn
into better lives in less tragic times
into whole families with more capable mothers

a month before she left her homeland
the elder of the two came to her in a dream
there was no resentment, no words of blame
just expressions of grief and longing
a request to come back home

three weeks into their stay at the refugee camp
on the thai side of the khmer-thai border
she birthed a baby girl with two whorls on her head
who grew up with everything she wanted
for her other daughters

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