“The Chase” by Piper Ginn

Piper Ginn (age 13)


The phone rings …
She struggles to listen, amidst the rumble of the bus,
the teenage chatter, and the thunderous laughter.
“Mom” her daughter’s voice comes, rushed and shaky.
“How’s the baby?” she asks, gripping the handrail.
Within a moment, she’s tossed into the world 
of Down Syndrome.
she falls.
Down Syndrome—foreign words, scary words,
life-changing words.
Words that someone else should own.
The bus stops, the kids depart, the field trip over.
Alone with her worries, she recalls 
she’s a teacher, a lover of children
and all children, broken or whole
are gifts from God.
The phone rings …
It’s time.
Time to meet her grandson—Chase will be his name.
She pictures him Chasing butterflies, bunnies, and basketballs
like any other child.
But heart surgery calls.
More complications, more worries, more stress.
The phone becomes her enemy.
The phone rings …
“Mom, can you babysit?”
“Of course,” she says.
Chase sits by the window
delights in sights and sounds outside.
Silent—he Chases words that may never come.
Instead, he smiles, he laughs, and he loves.
A blessing to her family,
she no longer Chases 
what could have been.

from 2014 Rattle Young Poets Anthology

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Why do you like to write poetry?

Piper Ginn: “Poetry allows me to take a small piece of life and make it more meaningful.”

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