His mother would tell the same tale, sixty years later each word the same as the first time.
‘He didn’t make a sound when he came. I was so young. I was so numb.’
‘I saw them dip him in two bowls, one of hot water and the other cold.’
‘I was so young and small. He didn’t get enough air to breathe when he came.’
He is her first born.
Blue born He,
he lead the brood that followed.
Their father was a man, more seen than heard.
Their mother took care of the house for twelve long years-
two families she bore on her teenaged shoulders,
the one she started and the one she married into.
Their father died six days after I was born.
He liked mutton soup and he sold tobacco.
That’s all I ever knew about him.
The stories of the seven they had,
could fill lifetimes seven fold seven.
I will tell you all I know,
whispered to me when crinkled hands held mine so tight,
those I overheard behind the doors
and as I pretended to sleep,
those I grew up with the oldest of them all.
I will tell you all,
to the best I know.