Down syndrome


I look in through the noise of the heart bell
The angelus chiming loud as ever

I see a little infant on a little bassinet, crouched in the middle
Thumb in mouth, crying for breast feed

And she will be more beautiful than any child I’ll ever know
She won’t dream of a doctor’s set or Barbie’s perfection

She will count the stars in the sky and fall like a meteor
To our arms. She will make miracles happen every dusk.

As I come home she will be the dasher to the gate
And the walker leashed to my hand

I can then count the eyes that glimmer like maple syrup
And a voice that makes slurry nasal sounds

As crispy as her tongue and larynx collude. If I sit down
I can count the tresses on her little temple

And if my memory is good, the kisses pinched
On my grateful cheeks, and the countdowns are all

Beautiful, as I look at a photomicrograph that spell out
A unique karyotype. Then she becomes even more

Spectacular, like the moon that does not hide during the day.
Her face will never know, the white lie or green envy

Only perhaps the red blush. The number 47 they say has killed
More people in history than any other numeric.

Yet 47 to us, is a beautiful number, when child
Makes childlike a little game for adults.

A little girl who will never see or be trapped
Inside an adult mind. Genetics is just a little extra

Helping of a miniature chromosome – what is
More beautiful than 47 little champions

Inside a cell, making an endearing sculpture. Beauty
For us is a syndrome of love and innocence

And we cheer on every day, at one paltry chromosome
A rope that binds us tighter than an umbilical cord.

And this landslide of biology was all it took
For a watershed of blessings.

Love could do no other but flood……


Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld.

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