The thirteenth child was the last to be born
and the last to die at ninety-one.
Number ten only made it to three (drowned in a farm pond)
and number eight, at seven, met
his demise from a sudden fever.
The mean death age was
47 — about what you’d expect from pioneer days.
The mean life was
farming, children, hunger, death and Jesus
but not always in that order.
— Deborah Altus