Extra special

March is trisomy awareness month. The most common trisomy is trisomy 21 which causes Down’s syndrome manifested by learning difficulties and classic facial features. This poem describes a woman’s younger brother born with Down syndrome.

Even though I was only four years old

I sensed something was wrong without being told

My baby brother was about to be born

My mother told me with an expression forlorn

That he would be “extra” special, little did I know

The “extra” was chromosome 21, that came as a blow

To my parents who were visibly upset

Of course I did not know who we would get..


Then you were born, and unfortunately

Tears flowing down my mother’s cheeks incessantly

You looked so beautiful, I could see

That you were extra special for me

I thought you were coming home but no

You had open heart surgery to undergo..


When you first entered our lives we were tense

And terrified, but gradually your presence

Brought unbridled joy in our household

Your cheerful demeanor was able to mold

All of us, we were used to being fast and impulsive

You made us slow down, be more attentive

To you and to everyone else around

You taught us patience, brought changes profound

In how we viewed the world who thought

You were disabled- but you are not

You are capable of independent thought


My baby brother, to me you have been

My closest confidant, you have seen

Me go through travails of adolescence

And calmed me down with your presence

Now you are a precious uncle to my son

You know exactly how to have fun

With a child, because you still possess

The innocence of a child, which I confess

I have lost irretrievably in growing old

You have your pristine heart of gold..


You are that blessing for our family

We had not known, we could not foresee

You are “extra” in ways more than one

Far beyond the extra chromosome 21..

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

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