Karen took care of a baby,
a home health case back in Fremont.
The baby was a living mess.
Off to the worst start you could imagine.
A list of problems longer than her undersized frame.
I think it was a her, I want to say
Jessica like the girl that fell down the well,
but it wasn’t Jessica.
Karen let me hold her.
Be careful, she has a trach, she said.
It looked like that orange spout they sold on
TV you jammed into an orange juice carton.
It kept her thin hopes from pouring out.
Her odds near the same as the Powerball
I remember imagining.
Then she tried to cry.
Like watching a movie
with the sound turned off.
All the annoying babies in churches,
in restaurants, on airplanes; all forgiven.
I hear them all sometimes in my sleep
In a concert of apologies, twisted into a paper bow tie,
bright red, trying to cover her future scar
Steve Christopher was a former airline pilot turned professional songwriter. He owns a small boutique publishing company in Nashville, TN, with over 100 independent and Southern Gospel song cuts to his credit. He wrote and produced 2 music videos that were in medium rotation on Great American Country. He currently is an adjunct writing instructor for Columbia State Community College. He’s married to an amazing woman whom he owes more to than he could ever repay. His most recent poetry credit “Wool” is with 34thParallel, as well as 4 poems in the spring editions of The Más Tequila Review and Paterson Literary Review.