There are times when I wish poetry came easier to me, because some events seem almost too sacred to force into paragraphs and sentences. Prose is bricks and mortar, and I'm not building a house.
I'm out there with my net, trying to capture the incandescent perfection of butterfly words, and missing.
And thus, here is my brick butterfly.
Joel At Naptime
Already, I feel him slipping away. My baby is now a toddler, and his world is too big to see from my arms.
I feel him kicking and turning, in my womb, in my dreams. I'll see a pregnant woman, full like a ripe plum, and ache with longing.
I give away the clothing, the breast pump, the blankets. "We're done! Let's clear this junk out," I'll say. Then, with the doors closed, I'll rub a baby blanket and smell the babies I once knew. It all comes rushing back.
The impossible softness. The hands, unlined, slightly curved. The beautiful symbiosis of my son and I, rocking gently in the still of the night, as he eats, sighs, and returns to his restorative slumber.
Joel rests now on the bed, clutching his bottle. He gulps contentedly, as I gaze at his heavy-lidded eyes, and stroke his golden hair. His belly rises up and down, and his legs do a restless dance all of their own.
At this moment, he is still my baby. His bottle drained, I pick him up and rock him gently. He looks to the crib, ready to nap. I kiss his forehead, once, then again. Placing him down with exquisite tenderness, I close the door and walk away.
He always wakes up a rowdy, ready-to-go toddler. Yet, in these fleeting afternoons, I tuck in my precious baby boy.