Little One

Little one,
When I rise at 2am
To hold you, squalling
Red-faced and indignant
And soothe you back to rest
Against the cradle
Of my ribs
I gaze with wonder
At the twin lights
Of consciousness and feeling
Dancing, birth-fresh
Behind your eyes
And I feel the weight
Of your protection
Press against my weak
And narrow shoulders
And think, my God
How am I shepherd you
Through all of this?
In time,
You will have your own
Thoughts and joys
And secret yearnings
But for now
You ask only for a full belly
And a warm embrace.
I comfort myself
That these things are enough
To sustain you,
And try to brush away the fears
That seek to crowd out
Our simplicity
With their demands.
Little one,
I know that I am not enough.
And yet I fear the day
You learn the same of me.