I kneel down beside the mother.
Her baby will come soon.
I place my hands on her belly
to feel the body of the baby inside.
He needs to turn, head-down,
but he has chosen to curl up sideways—
his hard little head to the right,
his tiny little feet tucked in to the left.
I tell the mother we can try
lots of things to help her baby to turn.
But if he will not move before the day,
his mother will have to have surgery
because babies cannot be born
from his position.
I explain this as slowly
and as reassuringly as I can.
This is the mother’s fifth baby,
and she’s never had a cesarean.
She nods and is not afraid.
She tells me she had a sense
that this one
would be born that way.
Sunflower Songs (2012)