how dumb we must have sounded
then, with the sonographer.
“What a lot of room in there!”
and – “Will you print us a copy?”
and – “When is the revised due date?”
and – “It’s beautiful …”
it wasn’t supposed to be hide-and-seek.
scanning the darkness we were told was fluid –
angle after angle,
gray shapes coalescing and dissolving
(“Where are you?” in a sing-song voice) –
seemed a part of the mystery
as we leaned forward, expectant,
awaiting a revelation.
“I think –” and “I think –”
finally we had to say,
“So that is our baby?”
a thoughtful nod
flooded us with recognition.
out of the whole black space –
a tiny, silent, perfect ring of light.
inside, like the color of a glass marble,
a twist of gray,
and along the circumference
little points of brilliance,
newborn stars on a nebula’s edge,
delicate and still.
we’d seen glacial mountains, caribbean reefs,
but nothing as perfect as you.
“It’s beautiful …”
those were the words that
prompted the sonographer
to direct our attention to certain consequential facts –
you were two weeks smaller than the placenta
no bloodflow was reaching you through the umbilical cord
in fact, you had no
you left us then
to take your place in the darkness
words cannot fill.
at least –
I’m glad we got to see you.
some parents never do.
and as dumb as we must have sounded
then, with the sonographer,
I’m glad we said you were beautiful,
because you were..
copyright © 2004, michael w. hobson