Wednesday, October 21, 2009

poem for baby

Preemie Nightwatch
After sleeping too hard and waking with a start
I lean low over the shadowy cradle,
blinking dry eyes to focused sight,
folding blankets back to be reassured,
to catch the shallow feathering breath,
curve a finger into a small palm
to feel the warmth of living flesh,
to know the small heart in a cage of curved ribs
still tirelessly strokes with mild wings
and lungs, bright balloons, fill and release unbidden.

When my insides ease their sudden lurching,
frantic pictures erasing, tenseness lifting like a fog,
I float away to deep sleep seas where the baby drifts,
the pilots of our minds dozing in the cabins of our dreams
while the motors and paddles and signals and lines
that keep these flimsy boats afloat
churn and turn and tug us silently
through the smooth dark water of night.