A Natural Progression

I see him resting in his crib, tiny fist
curled and tucked beneath his cheek, breath
coming in and going out in soft
little sighs--I could watch him forever. Somewhere,
far away
in another future I could have had
acolytes in academia
college graduation with a ribboned bundle of diploma
family scattered happy in the crowd
proud of someone
who isn't me. This is me.

I have succumbed to the rhythms
of hourly feedings, the meditative tasks of changing,
washing, powdering, listening
to his change of breath from sleeping to
almost awake, my body relaxing when he is relaxed
my breasts suddenly heavy at his first
tiny cries --

My father sends me letters, telling me
I will never be a writer
and a mother, that the two things
take too much of one's time to exist
simultaneously. He says this to me
without anger, or resentment
the words of a man too old and too tired
to dream. I dip fingers into a tiny palm
feel my baby son squeeze back and I disagree, I
disagree--this is all
inspiration. This is all I need to know.

Holly Day

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