I unzip fava beans and pop

them out of their thick shells,

separating them from

what sustained their growth,

as my friend’s son chirps

in his newfound voice.

I palm each fat comma.

I want to fill the world

with daughters not my own

but ones who learn how

to braid, are mesmerized

by stones. Thank God I had

daughters, my mother

would repeat. Until she didn’t.

Some seeds beside ones

that look ready to burst

have shriveled up, my labor

for their flesh in vain.

All I can do is promise.