The new nurse fumbled with the ultrasound
device. She pushed it like a cattle prod
against the curved, unmoving flesh, but found
nothing. I held my breath and panic. God
don’t let her die or be already dead.
The sterile room, unholy, and the nurse
pulsed with the nervous tension of the dread
of the unknown. My prayers have gotten worse
since then. My feeble, fetal spirit died
the same day that I didn’t hear her heart.
Predictably, we drove back home and cried,
not for the latent lump of flesh, the start
and end of life. We wept for all the days
ahead when we’d remember this one.

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