First baby

for years I lived in this house
unchallenged, unscathed, before your photo
appeared on the fridge, in the frame by the bed,
before your tiny clothes curled in
my drawers, your soiled burp cloths
in the laundry. You made me look below
the surface of things, the dust
of my impatience, my need for sleep,
my inward ways, your eyes

upon the stars of my face, older
somehow, positioned now by your
terrible need. I cradled your uncontrolled
head meekly, pretending I knew how.
Months after you arrived your smile
bubbled through, my gummy
mistakes forgiven, that quick, that complete.


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