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
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.