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Poems and Thoughts    by Frank Maurer

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25 June 1973, Lesotho, Southern Africa.

Christine was pregnant--oh, so pregnant.
Consulting with our local Catholic hospital,
The doctor informed us that if there were a problem,
The child would be saved before the mother!
Mad searching for an alternative----
A black Mosotho, Dr. Mohapelo, a surgeon in Maseru--
A colleague of Christine's father, Dr. Jaques.
Now we confronted a breech----feet down.
Pierre was a large baby--what to do?

The moment came at home, water flowing.
Now a many mile trip to Maseru and the hospital.
(A birth in the Catholic hospital in Roma would have been so close.)
Maseru------Into the hospital and the operating room--
Electricity failing in the city,
But sun in early morning, coming through the upper window.
Sterile packs removed from the autoclave.
(I was there!)
Anesthesia, then the Cesarean cut in the abdomen.
The child was pulled up and out, umbilicus severed and tied off.
But oh, so blue--the little body was so blue!
A nurse held him upside down and pounded on his back.
"Is this normal?", I asked the surgeon.
"Not unusual", was the answer.
FINALLY, breath and a baby's wailing.
The beginning of little Pierre Crispin's life.

Eventually back home and to a wood stove's warmth.
(Remember this was June, but in the Southern Hemisphere.)
Little, lovely child ready to meet the world.

Frank Maurer 16 January 2023 1600 Hours.

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