I am not afraid of miracles,
though all of my angry doubts
must make you think so.

I long for them, fragile as they are,
and coax them with the gentlest flame.

Last night, as I waited for my patient
to turn, a noise came from outside
that could have only been an owl.

As I looked out, a dull light flashed
in the far sky. At that moment,
the child started in her sleep.

It was all I could do to keep
from hoping as I checked her breath
and soothed her tiny body back to sleep.

I try not to hope without reason.
It is not easy to stop hoping,
hard to press against the gods,

more difficult as time passes
and my failures become clearer,
but it is the only honest path, I think.

I am not afraid of miracles,
I long for them.

My Cro-Magnon friend talks constantly of his endless and often wrenching nights tending patients, from pneumonias to seizures to broken bones.