Kate Peper

Stone Baby

A 44-year old lithopedian fetus has been found in an 84-year
old Brazilian woman. (The woman) says she does not want
the fetus removed. —USA Today, 2014

For decades you hid within her but outside
the womb, grew life-like but refused air,

stayed curled, thumb-sucking
homunculus, wrapped in a calcium shell.

When they showed your never-to-be
mother your grey image,

she touched the CT screen and gasped,
Lua Nova. My new moon dipped in black water.

Her old knees have buckled
with your weight.

No, she said to the surgeon. To keep you
she will crawl with her big belly if she must:

God’s lamp shone here
and still does.