Spotting the Differences

The motion was easy to follow:

fill your mouth with air, blow

it into the limp plastic bag, quickly

tie it up with a string to keep the

air in. She did that every morning

to help her mother start the fire

to prepare the day’s meal. She

would fight the smoke to run successive

motions, her chest expanding the same way,

with eyes closed to avoid the embers.

Her forlorn gaze was unflinching now –

this balloon-blowing was a competition

and the kids rewarded for directing their breath.

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