Trisomy & Driving Home from a Second Opinion, 2017

Driving home, an 18-wheeler slides,
four-lane highway. Wind pushing her howling

belly. My mind goes round. Car goes
straight. I tell my foot to move

from gas to break. The baby inside
me careening.

Blood tests, NITP, anatomy screen.
I think about DNA. The tiny cells splitting.

I didn’t know how hard it would be
to speak to doctors, to walk into offices with a too-

still fetus inside and say the word “terminate,”
when doctors will not say the word to me.

Then wait to wonder if they are judging.
A flock of birds rise

from the median. Fly and jerk in wind.
On the radio, a crowd of fierce and rallying cries.

“This is serious.” Finally. The high-risk geneticist said,
“I believe it is your right. Do you understand?”

“Most likely the fetus will not live. If
it does, the baby has a matter of weeks.”

She stretched her hand. I wish I could leave
this buckle and bolts. On the passenger seat,

an edge of paper, name and address she wrote.
The radio is replaying election results from 2008.

Another 18-wheeler sways into my lane. Suddenly I hear, people
have been singing. We were celebrating, I remind myself.

Sherine Elise Gilmour graduated with an M.F.A. in Poetry from New York University.  She was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Green Mountains Review, Public Pool, River Styx, So To Speak, Tinderbox, and other publications.

 

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