Day 16
Poem 16

Yesterday’s prompt was about doubling. Yesterday I also watched the first episode of this season of Orphan Black. All the talk about Project Leda brought me to one of my favorite stories to explore: Leda and the Swan, as well as the fates of her daughters.

We were born two by two
as burdens to our mother. And our father,
we wouldn’t know his name until
we grew old enough to walk to the library
by ourselves, two by two, and found
our mother’s story. The boys curled together
on the same beanbag like puppies, Helen and I
on our separate straight-backed chairs.
We didn’t understand but nodded, pretended
it made sense for a god to be a swan
to be our father. We went home two by two,
didn’t ask our mother. She sat by the window,
folding small outfits into four piles
with just her hands—her eyes on the lake,
keeping watch, her mind in some place
where she had no burdens.


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