Laura Veronica

Image credit: Laura Sobbott Ross
Image credit: Laura Sobbott Ross

We’d been given a baby in our old age
like Abraham and Sarah,
daughter of a daughter who couldn’t
care for her own child.

Heavy as a stone, I felt the trembling
like a miracle inside my aging body.
At night, I gnashed my teeth on the word
can’t, but I wasn’t faithless enough 

that I didn’t wonder what would have 
happened to you and me without 
this hungry new mouth we shared,  
without rediscovering ourselves,

starry and swooning inside her eyes. 
We fussed at how much the other fussed 
over the baby, mindful of every current 
fledging through her tiny face and fingers. 

We remembered how to listen. 
How to soothe using only syllables. 
How to delight in the naming 
of the most ordinary things. 

Including ourselves. It wasn’t as if 
we hadn’t done this before. 
Had we forgotten the pillowy spell
of a baby’s cheeks? Or how small 

a body can be and still root itself in?
Something old, something new.
Part superstition, part prayer,
while shadows across the walls 

fluttered like leaves in a forgiving breeze. 
Gold-green was what we’d nurture 
in our hands while we grew grayer,
earnest and tending to what had been 

stirred awake from its nested sleep, 
what had risen, lullabied and gumming 
on the light— a wide-eyed gratitude,
hers and ours, yours and mine.

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Laura Sobbott Ross is the inaugural poet laureate of Lake County in Florida, and the author of five poetry books. Her poems have been published in Verse Daily, National Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, among others.

Photo credit: Photo by Author


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