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THE VISIT

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A flashlight rolls over the walls of a cave,
searching, until the transducer comes to a halt
low on my still-flat belly.
The doctor says, "There's definitely a kid in there."

Easy for her to say—she sees this all day.
But it took us years to get to this point.
Years in the dark. Months of nothing and never.
Her expert eye interprets the grainy screen,

which I can't stop reaching toward,
pretending to point to features but really
just longing to touch the image,
as if it were somehow more there than in me,

this tiny, blurry, leaping bison or bear,
something from Altamira or Lascaux,
from the hand of an ancestor—
the first art we know.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the March 1999 issue of Poetry magazine

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THE VISIT

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