Queen of the queen-sized bed,
she sleeps between us
arms outstretched like a plus sign
Then she rolls to her side,
back facing her true north father
Her fat foot buttressing my jiggly belly
Somehow she latches onto sleep, never fearing
that I could crush the life right out of her
with the body that gave it.
No--her snoring is a mother's aria
filling the room
with her sweet music.
She's gumming for me,
nudging for a swig of warm milk
I let down and she takes me in,
cupping her hands around
my milk-full breast.
And when she falls asleep,
crazy drunk, I pull away--
she continues to suck
as if I am still there.
The next morning,
her jagged little teeth rub me awake.
Under my blouse
my sore, cracked nipple
is a jewel of pain.
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Happy Poetry Thursday. I wrote this poem in April for National Poetry Month, but it seemed appropriate to post since I was up with my daughter (a.k.a. the human alarm clock) this morning. If you're a parent and you've had the experience of cosleeping with your child, then you can relate to sleeping with your child's foot in your back all night!
When Ella was 2 weeks old, she had a heart condition that presented itself abruptly and required surgery. That was a scary 24 hours, from symptoms to diagnosis to surgery and ICU. Fortunately, we discovered the problem quickly and she's is perfectly healthy now. I've thought often about writing about it but I think I'll save that post for her first birthday (woo hoo!).
As my pediatrician says, it takes a while to get over watching your child go through something like that. They always seem that much more fragile, even if they're good as new.
Still, this is the true jewel of pain I carry around with me every day.