Poem in Progress

Josie, 6 days old.

Today you are squirmy, stomach-upset,
the smell of your umbilical cord rising off you,
mixing with sweet baby smell and a hint of milk.

You can tell you are a second child,
surrounded by clutter and toys,
a bouncing flurry of legs and arms
who does not yet understand his size,
but who takes the role of big brother  very seriously.

(The first time you cried that piercing cry
that only a newborn can make, he worriedly
asked how to make it better, his eyes were wide with concern).

While you nurse,
he and I create train-tracks
for Thomas and Henry,
bridges and roller-coasters for wheels,
curving up and around and away
from stuffed lions and dead-ends.

The cat meows, frustrated with being ignored.

You are passed from father to mother
to grandmother, with the relaxed nature
of those who have done this before.

Today I see some tension
between mother and daughter, the older generation that is,
and your father is sleep-deprived
and Jack a bit hyper, and mama oh, so itchy.
You are almost a week old.

Sitting on the couch, with you in my arms,
I’m comfortable in a tank-top and shorts,
but your hands are turning purple.
I wrap you in the giraffe blanket
and you accordion in my arms,
dreams flickering behind your eyelids.

I feel greedy, sometimes, holding you,
soaking up your little fingers and hands,
mouth stretched open in a yawn.
I wonder, will you keep your hair?
Will the birthmarks on your eye-lids fade with time?
What do you dream of, little one?  Who will you become?
Know this: we’ll never let you go, this is family,
you are loved.

comments and critiques welcome! I feel like it needs a bit more work, but am not sure how to push it further!

Stork Painting: I found this online and have never been able to trace the artist.



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