I returned to my birth state not too many years
after Mama, for whom I as first girl had been named,
had died out on her porch, of fever. I resolved
to fight for health. In the later, changing, times
I lived well into, I would have been a doctor too,
but women did not in my time. I was a registered nurse,
good at saving lives, and giving life to five
fine children. They, my joys and delight,
grew in talent, thoughtfulness and spunk
they swore they got from me. I guess they did.
I never lost what I learned on that porch.
Paula (the daughter), from Oak and Mimosa by Alan Reynolds