Midwife II
Sarah Eaton

These are the way babies get born: square, seal-shaped, doubled, trebled, people-shaped, red-headed. Wormy and way too small.
"Oh, the possibility!"
She smiles and begins an exercise I prescribed in her third month. She traces a cylinder over and around her poky belly button. It will awaken awareness in the baby of its journey down the chute of life. So I said.
"Will her eyes be blue?" she says, dreamily. Also I make her thump out, on her belly, the rhythms I learn from my steel drum class. It increases intelligence and grace. The baby will never need spectacles.
Its eyes best be blue, or this be the milkman's child. So said the peas. "Oh, yes, oh, yes." Things I know, I repeat.
I close my eyes and feel around inside of her, warm and riddled with stalactites. The inside is pink when I shine my flashlight.
"A girl."
Or a boy. You know, as long as it isn't jaundiced or epileptic or dead.
What I lack in my kit: a pair of scissors. The child's head rents a jagged path between birth canal and that other, dirty hole. Squashy potato head, plugged with slime. It shoots out like a star, and there I am holding a whole child I did not hurt.
I am prescient. I am a born midwife. I have to quit before I kill someone.