this unexpected delight


softly beating rain,
beating music,
beating heart
on that ordinary October day –

sitting with my son, knitting mittens
for the unseen hands.

chopping veg, resting on the counter’s edge –
breathing deeply into the darkness when called.

hips circling to the unseen rhythm of bud to bloom dilation
with “a new perspective” on looping rotation.

broken baby waters: arching, crowning, rushed;
tinted birthing waters…lamplit room…hushed.


this fresh, still flesh-linked son
nestled in my arm’s nook

his eyes wide, wise, mesmerised,
as I scooped the waters over him.

squat-bodied, flappy-footed,
the shape of him spilled his secret;

the curve of his eyes revealed
the unseen hidden extra;

three copies, not two
on number twenty-one.


and I drank him in,
this unexpected delight.

no primal screams, no broken dreams;
nothing to grieve, nothing to mourn

after forty weeks growing this unknown –
no fantasy baby incubating in my head.

instead –

the mother love
the father love
the sister love
the brother love

in the still hushed room,
we embraced our new kin.

First published as ‘Made of Human’ at A Spacious Life on March 20th 2014, on the eve of World Down Syndrome Day. An homage to my then 17-month-old son 😀

World Down Syndrome Day 2022
“on looping rotation” … Donald Byrd’s ‘A New Perspective’
“three copies, not two, on number twenty-one” … Chromosome’s R US

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