Photo by Jp Valery / Unsplash


Poetry Aug 25, 2023

by Sarah Venaccio

Those nights you spent hours                     pacing up and down                            the staircase                              with our son, brand new,                         just the length of your arm,                        his head nestled in your palm.                       

I watched, bleary and leaking,                     thinking: ok, THIS is the kind of man you are,              another mystery revealed.                        Your silent footfall reminding me of                    an M. C. Escher print, you know,                      the one with all the stairs.

You met his need for motion                       with grace, as if it was                        reasonable to require                         endless movement.                        Sometimes, you even seemed happy to do it,                 one problem you could fix.

The four-a.m. service,                          your droning resonant voice:                       one little sheep, two little sheep,                    layered over his half-hearted fuss.                  Counting and climbing, a balm                       to his fretful nervous system.

You would dismiss me,                          tell me to sleep.                              But in those days,                               I was haunted by horrific nightmares,                   some foul post-partum gift,                       and I wanted to stay, to see you                     soothe him and believe we were                      safe if we stayed together.