by Paulette Demers Turco

      after two miscarriages

“She has Trisomy 18,”
your obstetrician says.
“Presentation varies.
It is hard to predict.”
He recommends abortion,
but gives you time to think.

You both say yes to Sophie,
share her every move.
She grows and fills your womb.
You feel her wonder, kicks–
sense her fingers grasp,
her tiny heartbeat.

Cardinals fly about you–
trill, alight, build nests–
as if they are aware,
though some of Sophie’s cells
cannot divide, she’s one
of your dear family.

Sophie is your daughter.
Every day of her life
you sense your shared desires–
you listen to Brahms as one,
sing favorite lullabies,
coo lyric nursery rhymes.

She turns. She kicks. Her heart
beats for months inside
until the moment she
arrives, lips pursed, born … still.
You dressed her all in white,
caressed her in your arms
wishing her alive.

Poem first appeared in In Silence (Finishing Line Press, 2018)  

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