First Trimester: Down Syndrome Test

by Christine Redman-Waldeyer

This is non-invasive

which should make me happy

but as I lay on the table

while she pushes and glides

the instrument over my swelling

belly, my eyes swell with tears.

 

Our efforts for small talk

have passed

after I asked if she could tell

the sex of the baby.

It’s too early, she says

so I wait

 

stiffening the muscles

in my face

that makes the tears

quietly slide

down my cheeks and gather

in the concaves created

by the delicate bones

below my neck.

 

She is clicking, surveying

the folds of his neck

to diagnosis his possible

termination, the his

I learn after the tally

when she asks,

What do you think you’re having?

I say girl and tell her

that I always knew

the sex of my babies,

knew my first was a boy,

knew my second was a girl,

even right away what their names

would be.

 

She turns

the camera to me

smiling, See between the legs,

I think you’re wrong

this time.

 COMMENTS

Christine Redman-Waldeyer is the author of Frame by Frame (Muse-Pie Press, 2007). She is a full-time English instructor at Passaic County Community College. Her poetry has appeared in The Place for Poetry, North Jersey, Exit 13,The Carriage House Poetry Series Tenth Anniversary Anthology and is forthcoming in the Seventh Quarry (UK), Lips, and the Paterson Literary Review. She received an award in the 2008 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards, and her chapbook, Gravel, is scheduled for publication 2009 as part of the Muse-Pie Press Raven Chapbook Series.

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