At After

At after. Bundle of joy unbundled and joyless. Unpacked after months of head against pelvic floor. A series and simultaneity of fractures: time, cord, breath, body. Stitches, ice packs. The epidural fades. Fuzzy morning hours. No longer bloated with baby and after-birth. Sunken and soft, like a deflated balloon.

At night. Shirt off beside sleeping husband whose body curls away toward wall or window.The body re-purposed. Milk, let-down, latch. Baby pulled from bassinet, laid down, bellies brushing. The touch like tissue paper. Eyes remain closed as night is nursed away in dreams of fast-flowing rivers and rainy puddles. Burpy breaths in the space between little lips. In the morning, the sheets are wet with milk that never made its way to mouth.


At home. The family room re-inhabited. Rocking chair as bed. Carpet as changing table. Streaks of mustard slime, climbing baby’s back, lost in skin folds. The coffee table removed to the garage, sharp, unnecessary corners. Carpet revealed only to be lost beneath foam and plastic balls, smiling baby dolls, and monster trucks. Someday stains and crumbs. Someday the coffee table again.  

1 Comment

  1. This is awesome!! At after, at night, at home…so beautiful and such a perfect description. Can’t wait for At toddler-hood or at teenage-years!!

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