I stole her memories, one by one,
but left her dreams alone.
I had to live that life,
I had to walk through that mud,
the cotton stalks at our ears.
I imagined her as a girl,
barefoot, giggling in her dress,
chasing after her sisters, through the fields,
finding a corner to fall asleep in.
I imagine her growing into a woman,
missing her sisters in their dresses,
they running back into the earth,
until she is the only one left.
I imagine her as a mother,
going back and finding it all there,
but no one to chase after
through the mango trees and cotton fields –
just the sound of children giggling.