by Melinda Burns
(published in Mothering magazine-May/June 2002)

The nurses taught me how to swaddle you
wrapping you in a blanket
like a burrito
tucking in the ends and each side
like a papoose
bundled in my arms

As you grew I carried you
in a sling next
to my heart
patting your puppy head
your small round bottom

You slept beside our bed
in a wicker laundry basket
the same one my mother used for me
I would turn to see you
waiting   eyes open
each of us attuned to inner clock
telling our time of need

Blanket to sling
basket to crib
room of your own
your world enlarges
you need me less

The nurses taught me how to swaddle you
No one has taught me how to let you go

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