Tag: Poetry

Grandpa’s Arrival

You bound up the stairs.

His mouth curves with excitement.

You squeal together.

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Kids on Alki

Their mirth froths as the waves lap the beach.

I watch them fling salty spray at each other.

At 3 am, up for the sixth time, I will imagine

you at their age, sprinting through the sand,

only a careless glance back to locate me.

 

It’s hard not to wish these stages away

faster.

 

Parent Ed

It’s the second night

into training you

to sleep.

The dreaded 5 am cry.

We just fed you,

and it’s too painfully early

for morning.

 

We revert back to our old solution:

bring you into our bed.

 

Except this time the instant

I pick you up

you arch your back, mewls

intensify.

 

Plain as day – I’ve made a mistake.

 

In my weary state,

house still night-time dark

it dawns on me like a

summer sunrise:

We are doing too much.

 

You are trying to tell us

(literally screaming at us)

to let you practice this fondling skill –

putting yourself to sleep.

 

It isn’t easy.

You cry. A lot.

But you cry even more,

even harder

when we intervene.

 

This is a crawl across a tightrope

of independence.

 

I want to tattoo this revelation

to my skin, to remember it when you are

2 and

6 and

10 and

14 and……

 

How – and when – to let go.

Sleep Regression

It’s a self diagnosis:

inability to connect sleep cycles.

Apparently

we’ve induced it by rocking

you to sleep.

Now you don’t know how

to self-soothe.

Lay you down drowsy

they advise.

Prepare for crying

they say.

 

I don’t know how to do either.