on fatherhood

Our son
first time in my arms
while Susan sleeps
sweat drying on her forehead.
So tired
she did so well.

He squeezes purple fists
purple veins in
tight fists,
tight,
the size of my thumb.
No sounds
just squirming.
Beautiful.

Let’s sit down
sit down.
Head is resting right, I think.
Looks happy –
I wonder if his eyes will open soon…
Susan’s nose on his face,
her chin too,
chin…
That noise –
the door –

Nurse’s head disappears
behind closing door.
Must’ve been sleeping –
Susan still is.

Wonder when he’ll first open his eyes
and see Dad.
I’m Dad.
Not quite ready –
a baby of a Dad
but so was mine
when I was born.

My Dad will help
he always has
like the time with the wheelbarrow –
I was eight.
Too heavy –
but Dad took one handle,
Dad.

Small fist
hitting my arm.
Don’t sleep now, Dad.
Don’t sleep
I won’t, son
Let’s take a walk in the nursery –
maybe we’ll find the nurse
and ask for some coffee.

from Only Say The Word

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