you wake in your crib's embrace
from the dream of a distant heartbeat
a voice says cry out!
and you cry out
bewailing the tragedy of separation
until I gather you to my breast
glowing numbers shift silently
and your desperation eases
someday you'll learn to fumble soft stars
into their places
to nuzzle your giraffe
and count adinkra like talismans
but for now I am consolation
I make the rough places plain
This Shabbat -- the first Shabbat after Tisha b'Av -- is called Shabbat Nachamu, a name which comes from the first word of tomorrow's assigned reading from the Prophets. That reading is Isaiah 40:1-26, and the first words are נַחֲמוּ נַחֲמוּ, עַמִּי / nachamu nachamu, ami -- rendered in one familiar translation as "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people."
Drew's sleep schedule has been tough on me since we went to Baltimore. Since we're waking up several times a night again, nighttime nursing became the subject of this week's poem. But I wanted to write something with broader resonance, so I also drew on imagery from the haftarah reading for this week -- several of the images in this poem are direct quotes or references to chapter 40 of Isaiah.