Monday, October 27, 2008

Monitor

Lights flashing like a police car chasing
or a landing strip in the thick black night.
Luminescent cues.
Each dot a quantum of discontent.
Three dots mean she’s awake but willing to be alone.
Five dots, the need is rising. It is past the point of no return.
8 dots or more? Get her out of there. Now.
She screams. Yells. Demands.

They flash me from slumber, alerting me.
I count the dots. Look at the clock.
Will it last? How long do I leave it?
My eyes are bleary, my brain even more so.
My body is heavy as I drag it out of my warm bed
and into the hallway. Into her white and pink room.
My husband is quiet and sleeping. He does not know I've gone.
She is always propped up on elbows waiting for me.

She stops crying the moment I pick her up. She is happy now.
She wanted me. Like no one has ever wanted me.
I feed her and hold her close.
Her hands are cold as she runs them over my breast.
Frantic at first and then slowly, as though petting a dog.
I am forced into consciousness when my milk lets down.
Little bolts of electricity that surge through each nipple.
Tingling at four o’clock in the morning.

I become fully awake as I sit, trying not to wake.
She gulps and sighs rhythmically. A soothing sound
of pleasure and sustenance. I hear the house settle.
Sounds of neighbours fighting, making love, playing video games.
Her sucking slows as she starts to drift. A pause and then
she starts again. Making sure I am still there.
After she is full, she collapses like a rag doll. Asleep before her
lips have left my skin.

I lay her down and kiss her face.
Fleece blankets pulled to chin and over toes.
I slip from the room and back into my own bed.
It has grown cold in my absence. I lie awake.
My husband is asleep and facing the wall.
The monitor is silent and dark. No flashing lights or need
for assistance. Just me, awake, and wishing for some strange reason
That she would call me back.

4 comments:

Chuck McKinnon said...

This is beautiful and made personal as I sit here nursing my own baby.

Thanks for sharing this. I loved it!

Chuck McKinnon said...

Wait, it posted as Chuck. Chuck is definitely not nursing my baby! Obviously this is Jen. I should have said that.

Anonymous said...

This is incredible, I'm reading it after having fed my son at 1:30 am. I felt myself nodding while reading your words...hopefully I can get back to sleep now.

Sarah said...

Gosh that sounds familiar...awww, I miss nursing my babies!