The Face You Wore Before You Were Born:
for Noah, breech at 37 weeks
Linda Weissinger Lupowitz
"This could feel a little cold,"
the ultrasound technician warns,
warming the electrodes -- or something
more benign -- to place upon my daughter's
swelling belly, bringing life to the idea
of her yet unborn child, at twelve weeks --
now revealed! --
A nimble gymnast, flexing, leaping, kicking
in a dark internal sea...sound waves coursing
tides within the muscular gymnasium,
and there --
Upon the screen, a face appears --
the face you wore before you were born.
Cold waves, heavier than light, unveil
the secret sac in which you float and dance:
a private glimpse through some impossible
Your face swims into view -- an upturned nose
and certain gaze, before your Soul has met
its match in union with such princely flesh;
a clay-vessel bobbing briefly in a red river,
soon to be caught in the rushes
and rescued to our world,
this side of deliverance.
"...Iım not saying what you see, she says,
but if it looks like a turtle, itıs a boy;
a girl looks like a hamburger..."
Tiny turtle, cozy in the confines of your high-flying
flight-attendant mama, here you find a steady balance
in the sky, pushing with your heels toward earth,
gripping toes and sturdy soles, locked knees and elbows,
navel-numbing with your bony head, competing
for her breath -- riding the ups and downs, face forward
with the gravity of your purpose.
At thirty-seven weeks, Noah, you are breech,
stubbornly maintaining your position,
firmly planted in the face of sheer adversity,
despite the threat of a cesarean -- scheduled now
for Tuesday. Doctors with their knives are
sharpening their plans to take you out.
Ana tells me of a birth-emergency, wherein
a paramedic reached within to check the cervix
of a laboring woman, when a tiny hand
reached down to grip his finger....
Turn, turn, little turtle, nudges your father,
his strong hands circling your home;
airplanes crash into buildings, cities fall,
people leap and bombs are dropping, dropping.
Leaves flee the trees in a Mississippi breeze,
youıve borne tornado warnings, still
you hold this space.
Your distant grandfather penetrates his healing
message through the ethers, through the density
of matter, to meet you in that space we share,
born and unborn, on higher ground.
"Heıll turn," Izzy says with certainty.
Ana anticipates a simpler birth, more antiseptic,
less messy than this rush of unpredicted fury...
as suddenly, surprising her, on Saturday
You flip, breaking the womb-waters,
wedging head and shoulders in the pink canal,
diving your unheralded descent towards light,
or from it.
© Linda Weissinger Lupowitz
Linda Weissinger Lupowitz was born in Philadelphia and
has lived in New Mexico for over twenty years.A graduate of
Smith College, she and healer-husband Robert went way out west
to practice chiropractic & home-birth and homeschool
three children. Grandbaby Noah was born in October 2001.
She has been associate editor of Taos Magazine, Rio Grande
and Mothering Magazine. She is a poet and a photographer.
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