Shift Work

Parenting is shift work-
taking turns to fend off
exhaustion,
like passing each other
in a turnstile;
each revolution
a separate trial.

I see you briefly
before a hairpin turn,
graze your hand,
and then we adjourn.
Our precious daughter,
our eager son,
members of our very own
marching band.

She curls against us both,
sighs from the scent
of both our skins.
He feels the air less thin
as we descend
and yet, I know we will do this
hillside dance again.

The dawn squints
puffy, tired eyes,
but each sunrise
is a new surprise view.
I rise to waltz you into day,
another chance to share
in life’s beautiful cabaret.


My son has been battling his seasonal allergies the past few days, which has kept us all on call here. Reminded me of this poem from right after he was born, as well as this lovely song by The National.

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