Sunday, February 10, 2008

Suckling

Curled at my breast
her tiny fingers tangle in my hair
and I
feel each gulp of warm milk flowing into her belly
count each barely perceptible pulse of fontanel
measure each perfectly wrought limb
wonder how I could begrudge her
sucking all my strength from me
she does, but oh
with each swallow
we are both more alive.

12 comments:

anthonynorth said...

As a father, I can think of nothing more beautiful than this scene. And you portray it so well.

paisley said...

this was so giving, so beautiful... you did such a perfect choice choosing the words here.....

mariacristina said...

Your poem bring back some of my most treasured memories, and at the same time makes the experience of nursing come alive for someone who hasn't experienced it personally. The photo pulls at my heartstrings. Lovely!

(I can remember when my firstborn was seven months old and I thought, 'can I really endure five more months of this?'But looking back, they were some of the most peaceful months of my life.)

gautami tripathy said...

One of the most precious feelings. You depicted that very well. I profoundly thank you for this post.

aubrey said...

very sweet. i loved nursing my kids and the connection it created between us.

Just Jen said...

that is one of the most beautiful portrayals of motherhood I have read in a long time!
I miss those days when my babies were actually babies...

Linda Jacobs said...

Beautiful ending! The whole poem is so life affirming!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Linda said it: a very life-affirming take on the "sacrifice" prompt. It makes my mind go off in several directions at once. Good work.

SweetTalkingGuy said...

What a beautiful story!

Margaret said...

I feel it's so important to capture such a private moment between mother and child. It's something to look back with such fondness and love. Your children will appreciate it later in life. Thanks for sharing with all of us!

...deb said...

Tender. Gorgeous photo, too.

chicklegirl said...

Anthony--thanks. I think parenthood brings out beautiful things in men, too.

Paisley--it was challenging but fun trying to pick just the right words to capture how it felt in that moment.

Mariacristina--yeah, I had no idea until I had my first baby and nursed him how it could be so amazing, create such a powerful bond. I must confess, the photo isn't me and my daughter (I googled to find a fitting image).

Gautami--you're welcome!

Aubrey--It's wonderful, isn't it?

Jen--wow, thank you! Sometimes I don't think motherhood is praised and elevated enough.

Linda--I was trying to find some way to capture the contradiction of how little ones can drain you, but leave you so full of love; I think the ending did that.

Anonymous--thanks. I think sacrifice can be positive, a way to grow and be happy, in spite of giving something up (like sleep!)

Sweettalkingguy--thank you!

Margaret--I'm so glad we're able to stay in touch this way, and share these wonderful moments with our kids. Thanks for reading my poetry!

Deb--thank you. See my confession above about the photo (it's not me!)