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She Is Strong

At birth,
she was strong.

It was her
mother
who knew
that her
previously
pink and soft-edged
life
was about
to become
sharp,
red,
tangled in pain
and without
a guarantee.

But
she was strong,
and
even through
the
unkept
promises
and
the highs
and
the lows,
she stayed strong.

And
some nights,
her mother
sleeps
beside her
in a hospital.
Coming there
in confusion,
panting,
vomiting,
slipping away,
in an ambulance
or a helicopter,
with tubes
and needles
and anxiety,
panic,
terror,
then relief.
Always love.
Thinking,
"Why her?"
"Why us?"

And
as she finally
sleeps,
peacefully,
just as she did
as a baby,
and the adrenaline
fades away,
and the pain
gives way
to such beauty,
her mother
thinks to herself,
"Thank God,
she is strong."