Orchestra

She laughs like rain on silver

When she holds her newborn brother.

Like a seagull on the beach

When she's joking with her mother.

Like a smoky saxophone

When she's been with a man.

Like a tickled baby

Just because she can.

She laughs like rattling dollars

At the things she can't afford.

Like a watchdog's bark

When people's voices are ignored.

When a baby died last month

And the culprit got a pass,

She threw her head back on the bed

And laughed like broken glass.

Author's Note: My roommate is Inuit, and a trained social worker. For the story of the baby, Google "Cape Dorset", "Nunavut" and "health care".