An Important Call
He was born on a hot July morning.
I could feel discomfort drift from
wary and avoiding glances.
One single line across a tiny palm
is an indicator extreme.
Hard news to be delivered.
A test for Down Syndrome
took two weeks in nineteen eighty-two,
and everyone knows the rules.
A nurse calls to spill good news.
For everything else,
doctors call to talk plans.
So, I knew when I heard his voice,
words slow and cautious,
asking me to find a seat.
I dropped a pan of hot grease
and wasted fried chicken
on my bare summer legs.
It wasn’t from anger or shock.
I was in such a frantic rush
to get to his little blue room.
Unaware of burns and blisters,
I held my sleeping angel tightly
in love’s sheltering embrace.
Shirley Alexander's Other Poems
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