As a two year old girl watched
(her mouth open in surprise)
a coffee machine exploded
sending glass and metal
along with a pint of hot coffee
in all directions.
These events, the explosion
the falling and the little girl’s open mouth
happened without the slightest sound
for this child was deaf.
Sometime later the girl’s mother walked into the kitchen
saw her daughter surrounded by debris
and for a moment couldn’t understand
what it was that had happened.
Instinctively she called the child’s name
in its single syllable but the daughter only saw
that her mother’s mouth had opened and closed.
It was then, and in mimicry
of her mother’s facial movement
and quite by accident, by coincidence
that the child said “God” quite clearly
and the mother, in that kitchen
and with her baby now in her arms
didn’t think to herself that here
out of the thousands of previously meaningless sounds
was one the same as a simple word
but instead crossed herself
in a manner the child had often seen before.
The mother smiled.
Her daughter smiled.