Cristi Donoso Best
Her body was riddled with disease, the shame.
Her connective tissue was disordered, the doctor said,
so that her skin was cream silk over smooth muscle.
And her bones, they were too long, he said,
and spoke of a rare syndrome, her long fingers
that reached every key with tenderness and stroked
the cheek of the man she loved so he held his breath.
Her heart was arrhythmic and lopsided; the doctor said it wouldn’t
last, couldn’t beat productively, even as she produced
three little children who grew big and strong
on those same long bones. The three went into the world
with their wild heartbeats and they loved her, mourned her,
recalled her silk skin, her long fingers, her heart that beat
ferocious, beat high, beat doubt.
About the Author: Cristi Donoso Best was born in Ecuador and raised in Virginia. She is a speech-language pathologist, writer and foster mother. Her joys are family, writing, and helping children find their voices. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband. You can read about her foster parenting journey here.