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Silhouette of a Sparrowby Molly Beth Griffin
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
I was born blue. Life ripped me early from my safe place and thrust me into the world. It was all so astonishing that I forgot to breathe.
But the puffed-up robin that sang outside the window of the birthing room came early too, that March of 1910, and just in time. He flew north before the spring came so he could sing me into the world. His song said Breathe child, this life was meant for you. When I finally let out my first scream I flushed red as that robin--red: the color of life, blood, love, and fury. At that moment I earned my name, Garnet, after the deep red stone thats meant to bring courage. Garnet, for courage,” Aunt Rachel, the midwife, said to me, when I was just a squalling baby.
My mother gave me life that day, but I was the one who decided to take it. I claimed it for myself.
Thats how the story goes. At least, thats the way Aunt Rachel told it to me a hundred times over, even after I knew it by heart. Thats the version I asked to hear again and again as a child, so I could wrap those pretty words around me like a familiar blanket and fall asleep thinking I knew exactly who I was.
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