Shirley Alexander

(12-05-1953 / Somewhere under heaven, Georgia, USA)

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.

Submitted: Friday, April 19, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 02, 2013

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