For Cullen: Four Days Old, Waking

By Preston H. Hood

I hug my first grandson rock him back
 & forth above the swaying white
 hear his breath measured & calm,
 & discover those sea-deep eyes that blink
 from the water-music of sleep.
 His tiny fingers open, close, embrace
 my thumb, the moment sharing. Our lives
 intertwine – branch toward light.
 While he gazes up at me & into this world,
 his eyelids flutter. I wonder what he sees, how he
 thinks, what does he want to hear from me?
 Four days, just four, too young
 to focus or concentrate, yet somewhere
 in sleep where he should be.
 How irresistible in my arms: his head leaning
 against my chest, the bright noon warming
 round him. Peace composes his face.
 His serene expression breathes love to me
 in code. I hold him long enough against my cheek
 to feel his pulse & yawning grin
 awaken, & arouse in me a new beginning
 where everything again is possible.
 When I listen closely, I can almost hear him speak.

Reprinted from “The Hallelujah of Listening,” Cervena Barva Press, 2011, by permission of Preston Hood.


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