Dry Summer

Choked, parched the

ground is a brittle yellow

crackling for the rains.

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Nighttime Decisions

You have broken out of your swaddle.

1:30 am and I’m down two choices:

1) Reswaddle you. But you’ll break out again

in a couple of hours.

Or

2) Change swaddles. Risk a full wake up.

 

I opt for choice 2, my hands deftly

unzipping and lifting, a tornado

of movement despite

your cries of protest.

 

Breath held, I zip you in.

You roll on your side,

mouth sucking away on pacifier,

hands huddled to cheeks.

Asleep.

Magically asleep.

 

Except.

 

Except you are on the floor

(where the swaddle swap happened)

And I feel it in my gut:

movement equals wake up.

 

So I curl my body around yours –

you, the little spoon,

coax my heartbeat to slow

to lull you into deeper sleep.

Until your breaths become peaceful puffs

the floor will be our bed.

 

In this moment,

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Moving Day

I will come upstairs to bed and you won’t be in the room.

It has been 14 weeks since this space was just mine and your dads

(more considering the nine months you developed in me).

 

I want to delay this moment, say you are too young, not ready.

 

But my instincts suspect you need this, have been ready for weeks.

It’s me we’ve been waiting on, to prepare and adjust.

 

My heart simultaneously flutters

and breaks as you conquer these milestones.

Solo

Today is filled

with cries –

through feedings

and changings

and nappings.

 

With you down

it’s my turn

to cry.

 

I worry

you sense

my frustration,

my feelings of being trapped.

 

I worry my love isn’t enough

to come through today.

 

I knew this would be a rough patch:

everyone back at work,

a growth spurt,

Dad’s business trip.

 

The perfect storm.

 

Awake, you cling

to my shoulder.

My tears mix

with yours.

Growing Day

My phone chimes –

a reminder from an app detailing

your latest leap.

It signals a stormy period

for you:

cries and crankiness,

what one mom termed hate-feeding.

 

That day we nestle into the coveted

spot on the couch, and I watch the sun arc

through the sky

as you nap and feed.

 

By evening my stomach is slick

with the heat of our bodies,

my nipples raw

and you are winding up

for another powerful cry.

 

I think about her poem, the mention

of fairy tales

and remind myself to

cherish

this day.