But Not the Fathers  

That last group included 9 children and several mothers

but none of the fathers.

 

Sahar Kalderon, 16, and her brother Erez Kalderon, 12

(but not their father)

 

Emily Hand, age 9. Noam Or, 17, Alma Or, 13

(not their father)

 

Shoshan Haran, Adi Shoham, her children Yahel and Naveh Shoham

(but not their father Tal)

 

Shiri Weiss and her daughter Noga Weiss

(but not her father Ilan)

 

were all released last night.

 

*

 

Last night, in Iowa City, the baby that wouldn’t come

on his due date

And wouldn’t come

on the day after his due date

or the day after that or the day after that finally released,

began his slow descent, dropping head-first into this world.

 

Should we take the Nubain?

Should I consult the birth plan? Draw a bath?

Should she lay on her back or crouch on all fours or stand with her hands on the bedrail

moaning low?

Should I order a pizza?

(When did she last eat?)

(How long after would she be hungry again?)

I had no idea! And, at the same time, I had all of them. I had every idea at once!

 

“Stand back,” the doula said, “she’s 100 percent effaced and ten centimeters dilated.”

 

Her mother had arrived. Her father. Her father’s mother. The third cavalry division of the second cavalry corps of the Russian Army.

 

The doula, though, had read the birth plan.

 

“She would like everyone to leave now,” the doula announced, firmly,

but gently,

and then,

catching my eye as I dutifully began to gather my things

and back away

she smiled and said:

 

“But not the father.”

 

 

 

 

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