Amanda Mininger

My brother came to us in an airplane when he was one and I was two. He left Guatemala and traveled in the night sky across jungles and sea with a woman from the agency who soothed him over the noise of the engines. They landed on U.S. soil and he was delivered—small, malnourished, with big round eyes—into the arms of our expectant family.

It’s fitting that his new life with us began at night under the stars, because my brother is Mayan, descended from that proud, ancient civilization who looked upward to the constellations. They followed the movement of the planets and the path of the sun, plotted courses, predicted events, developed a calendar. Makes me wonder: could they have read in a comet’s tail how far away their sons and daughters would end up, or what their fortunes would be?

Almost at once this new child pulled on…

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