John Grey is an Australian-born poet, playwright, and musician. His latest book is What Else is There from Main Street Rag. His work has appeared in The English Journal, Northeast, Pearl, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. The following poem was first published in the Bellevue Literary Review.
You want to tell everyone
that your wife's not sick
she's having a baby.
She may not feel great
but goddammit if she's not healthier
than anyone in the entire hospital,
every doctor, every sad sack
fidgeting anxiously in a waiting room.
"It's a miracle" you want to
cry out to the woman whose husband's
downstairs having radium treatment,
the guy whose girlfriend is in a coma,
the old man whose bride of fifty years
no longer speaks his name.
You know enough that for every miracle
on this earth, there's at least three
that are grinding their marvels in reverse,
so you keep silent.
Eventually, the nurse struts down the corridor
two steps behind her smile,
declares that "It's a boy."
All heads look up.
For a moment there, a tumor,
a dead brain, a blank look,
are, each in turn, a boy.
- John Grey