The Passion of Parenthood

A poem

Evening fell without our notice. It happened somewhere between the
rocking, the singing, the nursing, the reawakening and soothing, the
dishes and the endless laundry. But darkness is suddenly present, and
nags us into bed. Two hours to sleep until she wakes up again and then
two more; three if we’re lucky, and in seven hours the blaring blue
alarm will wake you and send you off to work while I nurse the baby…
again. So sleep. Sleep while you can, because the body that once could
not tire itself on mine is


I flatten onto my side of the bed like a splitting, warped board on a
too-tidy floor, unable to synchronize my body with the bed’s supposed
comfort. I pull the cold quilt over my aching shoulders and curl into you.


Your calloused and tender hand on my cold arm.

Body moves closer and your belly conforms to my spine; warm legs curl
around my bottom to where your knee kisses the back of mine. Shins avoid
my cold feet; nose searches my shoulder. This is the passion of the
exhausted: precious minutes, and the quiet warmth of another’s skin when
we have no more strength to talk.