by Lisa Douglas

Her chest rises and falls with every inhalation;
I struggle to adjust to its temporarily silence,
unwilling to disrupt it with electronic interference while she sleeps.

She flails about in her sleep often,
unable to attain rest-filled peace.
I stand guard, agitated and twitchy;
I want to rise, move about, do something, ANYTHING, but I can’t.

She prefers me sitting down or nearby;
I cannot leave the room,
I cannot put her down,
I cannot get a moment’s peace(!)

..until she sleeps.
I count the seconds where the only noise is the whurr of the fridge,
the clippity-clap of the air vent for the stove,
or a muffled shuffle from upstairs in a bedroom.

Quiet is decidedly rare here;
My fingers tap quietly now while tears spill.
Silence, at last. No wailing infant, no clingy, demanding breastfed baby.
My over-exhausted arms get a brief rest.
Many chores still to be done, but an unable mom cannot leave her baby’s slumbering side.
Delicious, borderline unattainable, spectacular quiet. But no peace.

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