The best time is when we have an hour outside and can run and race like we’re still on our way. I pretend that I’m running to my mama and that this is all a game.
We are told we are being cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services. I think I would prefer to be a bronze-winged woodpecker or Yucatan wren, like the ones Mama showed me in our yard back at home.
Those of us old enough to know our alphabet write secret notes to our mamas in the minutes when we’re meant to be finishing homework. I doodle birds in the margins so Mama will know I haven’t forgotten.
None of us has found a way to send our letters, but we keep them under our beds as testimonies to hope.
We write in our home language, although we learn new phrases in English each day. We don’t know where our parents are, so we don’t know if they’re learning the new words as well.
When we are told it’s time to play, they bring out armfuls of bright yarn. We each grab a handful of strands in green, white and red, for before, or red, white and blue, for after.
We weave each other friendship bracelets to stand in for wings.
We play tag with our eyes leaping to the sky, watching birds we saw at home glide high above our fence, telling each other they must fly over wherever our parents are too, and we smile to see how they cross borders without anyone taking them from their flock.
'Weaving Wings' was published in Sky Light Rain in 2019 by Valley Press.
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