Another mother poem: full day
My last rabbinic school residency

Another mother poem: psalm 5


Trying to sit up is hungry work.
I praise your abs for doing their part,
I settle you on the pillow in my lap
and as you draw shefa down from its source
your eyes flutter shut, your breathing slows.
Nothing else I know can match this comfort:
the steady flow of warm milk, my hand
stroking the curve of your head, your belly
pressed to my ribcage, the gentle rhythm
as each of us inhales and then lets go.
Daily I expand how much I can love
your toes, your cough, your raised eyebrow.
It feels dangerous, prying my chest open
to make room for everything that's new
and you're in the world now, the risks
as numerous as the stars in the sky,
but with fear come delights, too --
your face smeared with prunes
almost too luminous for me to bear.
Each day your glee polishes my dull edges
and I shine. As I grew your body
you changed mine. My heart stretches.
I think I might resent these silvery scars
if you weren't grabbing for my hair,
my glasses, reminding me how much there is
to reach for, to marvel at, everywhere.

This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry is a wordle word cloud, from which I drew the words resent, praise, comfort, milk, cough, part, hungry, stars, dangerous, dull. The words were drawn from a widely-published poet's work; the identity of that poet and the poem in question are revealed in this week's come one, come all post, which you can visit if you want to see what this prompt inspired other people to write. (Turns out the poem in question is by Sherman Alexie -- and, intriguingly enough, it's about parenthood too!)

Needless to say, this is the latest addition to my ongoing series of mother poems. Speaking of which, two of those poems were published alongside an adaptation of a recent blog post over at Zeek -- "Night Feeding" and "Walking and Falling at the Same Time" are both published alongside The Spirituality of Parenting at Zeek.

The Hebrew word shefa, which appears in this poem, means divine abundance. Within my mother poems cycle, there have been four poems which I've titled "Anticipatory Psalms" -- this one feels to me like it's part of the same grouping of poems, but instead of celebrating something I anticipate, this poem celebrates what already is. So for now I've titled it simply "Psalm 5."