1-26 Emma’s Birthday

Wow- a year ago today Emma left her wet cocoon to join ours. She is such a perk and joy in our retirement years!

 

EMMA 1-26-16

 

Antepartum

 

18 hours in the waiting room—

minutes are hours.

Miraculously the TV remains off.

Its black eye reflects neon light.

 

IT’S THE LAW!

ES LA LEY!

IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY

OR ARE IN LABOR

 

Framed newborn faces with knitted caps array the wall.

Swollen moms sway in, families carrying bags and bundles.

Jess is prepped in her inn. Daniel rubs and messages.

Jamie coaches and cheerleads. Grandpa contracts his leaking tear ducts, vainly.

Grandma feels her labor years ago, embedded as splinters in muscles.

 

From hundreds of choir and congregational voices,

Agnus Dei chants in upper lofts of my mind:

 

sins                               mer-

takest         the         of the           have         cy up-

God,                 away                       world,                             on

of                                                                                                      us…

O Lamb             that

 

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE

WITHIN THE CAPABILITIES OF THIS HOSPITAL’S STAFF

 

We visit her inn—Emma’s heart monitor beats

in crescendo and decrescendo with each contraction

and we must soon exit

 

so grandpa paces… pees… ponders… prays… paces… Emma descending so slowly…

 

sins                               mer-

takest         the         of the           have         cy up-

God,                 away                       world,                             on

of                                                                                                      us…

O Lamb             that

 

Abba: you were there epochs ago

as teenage Mary contracted and contracted in waves

amid sheep and goats on a straw bed and wadded cloth pillow…

—Spirit became flesh—and Joseph ushered wet Jesus

into Rome’s iron world.

 

Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.*

 

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE

NECESSARY STABILIZING TREATMENT

(INCLUDING TREATMENT FOR AN UNBORN CHILD)

 

“God, deliver Emma, as you did Lord Jesus.”

 

My daughter: you shall survive—our God shall deliver

with your midwife’s skilled hands, as your mother birthed you

33 years ago, our DNA spiraling inside each cell.

 

Jesus too stood near, as Mary birthed

His younger brothers and sisters

 

until his testament began in the Jorden River.

 

sins

takest         the         of the

God,                 away                       world,           us

of                                                                                        Thy

O Lamb             that                                                       grant               peace.

 

Postpartum

 

Daniel bursts into the waiting room,

everyone applauding! and we soar into the inn

at 11:50 PM, where 6.3 lb. Emma rests on Jess’s chest,

eyes peeking into worldly light

 

as did baby Jesus

when Spirit became flesh

 

so flesh can become Spirit

and Emma can rise.

 

*Ps 22:9-10

 

 

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