four a.m. feeding

This is a poem I once wrote for my eldest daughter:

four a.m. feeding


i light no lamp

i go by ache

and touch


the song of your hunger

guides me

to your humid nest    my hands

curl under your arms and lift

it’s instinct this gift

i give you at night

i know you


smell you    when i can’t see you


buttons to unfasten

half asleep

it’s hard to work my fingers

and juggle you

but soon    i fold you

in the crook of my arm

these pouches of stone

four hours without you

look what it does


you seek me

blindly    rooting for the source

i croon

it is there

i melt and gush

you choke break cough

too much

too fast

gurgling to your belly


milk splatters your face and fuzzy scalp

milk sweet and warm   such

plenty to grow on


i nuzzle your head

and rock the chair

slip my hand

under your gown

to fondle


your miniature toes


little peach little plum

i cannot imagine you


by: Jane Eaton Hamilton, from the collection Body Rain, Brick Books