Poetry Wednesday – In the Maternity Ward: A Poem by Timothy Stobierski

NewbornHe can’t help it,
sniffs the newborn’s head;
there’s a slight smell of sweet musk—
fresh peaches in spring.
His lips graze the child’s scalp,
nuzzle the vernal pelt.
How soft the flesh,
so prone to bruising;
it must be cradled,
tended with care—
but he’s a big man,
and the child is so small.

He lowers his son
back into the basket,
doesn’t know what else to do.
He’s not accustomed to being so gentle,
scares himself into laughter,
wants to cry.
His wife is asleep,
nine months distant, drained, exhausted.

Oh, to sleep, to sleep,
to slip into that sweet oblivion,
to slumber and wake
and find his son’s soft spot,
smell it, kiss it.

~ Timothy Stobierski, 2012 (published at The Good Men Project)