Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
The Book of Sleep (XXV)

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There is no such thing as a baby.
            --D.W. Winnicott

It was winter. All around, the mountains
like an open mouth, preparing to speak.

I said your name over and over, as though
this could help. Ah, little fish, slick-bodied
fingerling. Names have nothing to do with you.

A cloud passes over the moon.
Strokes its pocked cheek gently, then
moves on.

The baby monitor picks up strangers'
telephone conversations. Nothing
you can do about it now,

the woman says.

There's no book where it's written down.
All those hours, blank pages blowing
across the snowy steppes. Your body leaves
its imprint in the wrinkled sheets:

shape that won't fit you anymore
come evening.


Eleanor Stanford’s book, The Book of Sleep, was published by Carnegie Mellon Press in 2008. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, The Harvard Review, The Georgia Review, and many other journals. She lives in Salvador, Brazil, with her husband and three young sons, where she works as a guidance counselor at an international school and maintains a blog, The Golden Papaya.


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