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New Morning


Donnelly Fenn

In the cold stillness, morning slipped across the welcoming earth.
In his thought-before-words, Stephan knew it would be his first.
These nine months had convinced him his memory was intact.
He felt like the tight bud of a rose before the first bloom.

He knew every petal, every shade, every shape before it would be.
His mind had raced with increasing excitement down the long line of possibilities
As he slowly realized the degree of his success.

From his cavern, wordless thoughts emerged into a vast space of shadowed knowing.
His senses were alive with the joy of his fetal presence.
Then, like a distant blackbird in a bright-white sky, a bright-black dot grew
From a period, to a giant exclamation mark, and into a huge dark question mark.

He was absorbed, mind-first into its inky unknowingness.
But he knew full well how to shape himself to conform with the
Tight, moist canal through which he now moved:

Headfirst, face down, relaxed and ready.
He felt the doctor’s gentle, knowing touch.
But he wasn’t prepared for the cutting shaft of green-bright light
Which jarred his clenched eyes.

Fighting against his stampeding fear, his last thought before panic
Was to send his shrieking cry up and out,
Through his silent open mouth, out into the waiting morning.

He heard his distant voice, growing larger, until it consumed him.
And then, the jarring release of his diaphragm,
Suddenly opening his tiny lungs
In a jubilant, expansive rush of life-giving air.

He sailed on a pulsing sea of breath,
As cry after cry, he welcomed
His first new morning.

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