Middle child

by Emily Uduwana

My mother used to say that I fell
between a rock
and a hard place,
as if my body
had grown crooked
to accommodate
the boulders that huddled
around me
and she promised:
the Lord is your rock
as if the weight
of limestone
that settled
upon my chest
had not placed
a single foot
at the base of my throat,
like the elephant
in those Godforsaken
asthma commercials
that played on a loop
between episodes
of Veggie Tales
and the Emperor’s
New Groove.

Emily Uduwana (she/her) is a poet, short fiction author, and graduate student based in Southern California. Most recently, her work has appeared in spring and summer issues of Stonecoast Review, Rogue Agent Journal, and
DAYBREAKING. Emily’s debut chapbook, Knotted, was published with OrangeApple Press in September 2020.