THERE’S A NEW PERSON IN THE WORLD

There’s a new person in the world.
She arrived by car.
Tulia couldn’t wait
until her daddy pulled into the parking lot
and her mommy was resting uncomfortably
in a hospital bed.

No, Tulia couldn’t wait.
She pushed and Mommy pushed,
and on the third push Tulia showed her head,
and on the fourth push held her arms up high
so Mommy could scoop her up.
Daddy tilted the mirror
so that Big Sister Petra,
calm in her carseat,
could see,
then drove around to the emergency entrance.

For the last few days,
through the uterine wall,
Tulia had been hearing Petra say,
“I can’t wait until my baby sister’s here!”
Tulia decided
she couldn’t wait either.

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BIRTH AGAIN

Green-haloed doctor
Solomon in a gown too large
stays with us all two hours,
so kind
I have endowed him divine competence.
I bent procedure at Navy Hospital
when I insisted only he
could touch me. 7 centimeters dilated,
“You’re too comfortable,
but it’s almost time.”

The magic on this floor! where we watch Amy entering
the open world,
the magic on this floor
is bigger than Christmas!

“Another female,” nurse
hands me the roundest head, red
fat folds on her cheekbones.
“Amy,” I say.
She stops crying as her eyes
lock into mine.

***

Five floors above the ground
I’m at the window eating lunch,
John down there leads
a line of children
through the parking lot,
all holding hands.
I don’t want to leave.
For while I stay
birth fills the air I share with mothers,
bearded corpsmen who bathe our babies,
Doctor Solomon shyly hinting
about birth control.
I don’t want to blanket birth
and walk out in the February sun.

The magic on these streets
is bigger than Valentines!
as we bring Amy home through Pensacola,
magic makes the
whole town shine!

Remember the reason, mother again.
Remember the baby sleeping
on my arm, her hand
on my open breast.