Given the Space Between Trees

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Space, like time, is psychological

                                                                                 as well as physical

                                                                                             —Georgia O’Keeffe

       —Laleh and Ledan Bijani, 29-year-old Iranian twins

                                joined at the head, died in Singapore July 8, 2003

                   during surgery to separate them.


In the forest of my friend’s backyard,

I ponder the space between trees—

openings where shadows mix with light.


Space defines us,

allows us

to be who we are.


It is the space we must

water and nurture

before we embrace another.


Joined at the head, the sisters

wanted a chance to know

ordinary lives.


They risked it all for a dream,

the desire for a separate garden,

a parcel of air between them.


If you and I should join together,

I hope we will remember

the Persian twins who died for space.