Miracle Child

by Virginia Bellis [easy-media med=”8510″ mark=”gallery-qW5IKj”]
“What if one were to run after a ray of light?”
~ Albert Einstein

When first they saw their son
swimming in the grey ultrasound glow
they asked no questions –
not wanting to look
a gift horse in the mouth,
I suppose. They joked:
Hope it has your lungs,
he said. Your kidneys, she said.
The blank-faced technician, rubbing
her seeing wand over their future, only made
them laugh. And they went on

to where the earth gave forth
hot springs. Floating in warm water,
all the stars in the night sky
reflected on her belly. They didn’t think
to worry. Not until

the doctor, small and kind as a leprechaun,
offered – like the unlucky leaves of some clover –
four possibilities, all dire. Only one
would not mean certain death,
though even that was uncertain.
To know would take a needle in the gut
of mother and child, womb water,
blood and urine, days of

waiting. They lay on the bed where
first the child had come to being, holding fast
through the long hours of no answers.
Was it because of something
she ate, medicine he took, long ago
or worse, that they had forgotten to pay
attention? The pain

they suspected, would be proportional
to their hope. Better, then, not to want
what couldn’t be, almost
easier to contemplate a return to
the way they had been, two
instead of three. Was it not
for the better at this stage to abandon

belief? There in that dark room,
still the old light of the stars shone through
the night window. Who can say what
caused the infinite in her heart to open,
and the knowing to begin?

Years later, she heard her young son explain why
we feel euphoria around someone we love.
Our brain, he said, releases dopamine; imagine floating
in just right warm water. And she returned
to that moment when first she understood
the incomprehensible scale of hope.

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