When your three month-old won’t nap in her crib
When you’ve tired of rearranging the picture frames and dusting the corners
When the sheets have been washed and every last potted succulent watered
Strap the baby in her carrier and take to the familiar sidewalks
Let the rhythm of her slumbering breaths, her tummy against yours
Slow you down
As you move not from block to block, house to house,
But from aster and columbine to yarrow and needle-grass
To clematis and sage, fairy duster and poppy
To the (stubborn) insistence of growth and heat and time
Feel the radiant stillness of now
And with a patient hand gather a high-summer bouquet
Native to California (just like her)—
Your baby Dahlia,
Who blooms each day anew.
Jessica Dur Taylor’s writing has appeared in damselfly press, Cactus Heart, Mutha Magazine, Brain, Child online, Prick of the Spindle, The Mom Egg Review, and other places. She lives in Santa Rosa, California, where she teaches college English, makes the most of nap time, and enjoys crafting and cooking to the tune of her husband’s piano playing. She has two daughters who wake consistently at night.