To the Baby Upstairs
Even through the summer thunderstorms,
I hear your cry through the walls, the floors,
the open windows.
I hear the strength you are gaining,
and the sense
of who you are and what you want.
And when you want it,
your mother is not the only one who strains
to interpret your cries; I
rise in the night and know
you are hungry
or your tummy hurts
or you, like me, just can’t sleep
without being close to someone who loves you.
Ten years from now
I will wonder where you are
and imagine your squinty smile
when you pull a jug of milk from the fridge
and pour a glass yourself,
or learn to navigate a turn
on your new bike, things
I am almost sure you will one day do,
but can never really know
the way I am certain you are happy this quiet minute,
little boy whose name I never knew.