When my mother was pregnant in 1958 she took an experimental drug to quell morning sickness. Seven months later she delivered a daughter with limbs too small to ever be useful.
Leslie never complained about her deformities. Instead she made jokes about them and dreamed of flying.
Once we took a hot-air balloon ride. She tossed sequins over the side. They glittered to the water below.
“In my next life,” she said, “I want to be a bird.”
From the same balloon I pour out her ashes. Mixed with sequins they spangle the sky.
Today my sister is free!