Who on earth saw him first, knowing
truly who he was? Belly to belly, when
John, prophet in utero, distinguished
in the natal soup the fetal bones, the body
curled like a comma, eyes tight, skull
packed with universal wisdom,
this unborn cousin began to dance.
And when she, birth-giver—
her ordinary vision arrowing down between
her legs through pain and straw to her son’s dark,
slime-streaked hair, to his very skin, red with
the struggle of being born—she lifted him
to her breast, kissed the face of God,
and felt her own heart leap.
– Luci Shaw, ‘Recognition’