When Baby Sleeps
When Baby Sleeps
When baby sleeps, her bright head nodding on your shoulder,
her hair gently tickling your neck and chin with downy feathers,
her breath quick, then slow - a gentle in and out of a silent summer's eve,
her baby sweat like dew on dawn's meadow rises,
filling your nostrils with its sweet smell of almost-sour milk, baby oil and
something else -a something you cannot name that lulls
you into a stream of fresh cool water
where you are pulled down deep into its cool welcome depths
past the surface currents and undertow, past sense and reason.
You dive deeper to the solid rock bottom where your love is so fierce
it grips you in its ancient crocodile mouth and holds you in iron teeth
until your breath is gone and your body is stone-cold rigid -
with the tender all encompassing love for your child that never lets go.
You touch that unnameable smell of your baby and you are gone
into what is not life or death,
but a universe of knowing and longing
a timeless energy of love and yearning that connects you
to all the mothers that ever were -
and you glory in the perfect satisfaction of holding your dreaming child.
by A. Gagliardi
* with a nod to T.R. Hummer "Where You go When She Sleeps"
when baby sleeps
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