In the months I lived with her
My grandmother used to crack the door
of my room and stare at me while I slept.
It felt uncomfortable,
an invasion of my young adult privacy.
Her housecoat silhouette in the doorway
standing guard, checking her ward
before she shuffled slowly back
to her room down the hall.
A decade later I find myself
cracking doors in my slippers,
staring at my own child as he sleeps.
My dreaming boy,
all ruddy cheeks, porcelain skin
bath-sweetened and still.
Limbs akimbo in a tangle
of cheery cotton, soft muslin.
His lamp lit beauty
knocks me breathless.
I want to climb inside his dreams
fill up any empty slivers of his life
with the golden magic he gave mine.
In those seconds standing by his bedside
I exist in a universe outside of time
I am ocean, love silently crashing
again and again, infinite.
I imagine my grandmother in these moments
Watching the steady
drum-beat breath of your child’s child
must feel like bearing witness to the miraculous
Now I think she was not
checking up on me so much as
she was checking in–
struck still by the stunning view
of the galaxy she created.
Shannon Curtin is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two collections of poetry, Motherland (Anchor and Plume Press), and File Cabinet Heart (ELJ Publications). Her writing has been featured in a variety of literary magazines including Mothers Always Write, The Muddy River Review, The Mom Egg Review, and The Elephant Journal. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. You can find her at www.ablogofherown.wordpress.com.