Baby Love Poems for My Daughter

Baby poems

Photo: Lorna Tedder and baby, September 1990. Note the super-trendy clothes I’d bought on my last business trip to LA.

My firstborn turned 23 this week.  I bought her items for her kitchen, now that she’s a grown-up with a place of her own, and passed down a pair of special earrings my mom bought for me around the same age.

For those of you who don’t know, I wrote poetry extensively through high school and into my late 20’s.  I enjoyed some success (as much as a poet is allowed these days) with publication under the name Alex Grayton or Alexandria Grayton.  I wrote intense love poetry, dark vampire poetry, and…some baby love poems.  They were published in magazines, newspapers, literary journals–pre-Internet.  For poets of that era, success wasn’t about getting paid–insert laugh here because getting paid even a penny per word was incredibly rare–but about merely getting your work in print.

I uncovered a small stash of “baby poems” a few weeks ago while scanning very old file folders.  I thought I’d share a couple here now, in honor of my daughter’s birthday.

 

The Startle Reflex

by Alex Grayton (copyright 1990, Lorna Tedder)

In days past

I put my hand over you,

felt for your kick,

your gentle tumblings inside me.

And now in quiet perfection,

you in your crib,

drawing breath so silently

that I reach to feel

the delicate rising

of your tiny chest–

I wake you by mistake.

 

Turbulence

by Alex Grayton (copyright 1990, Lorna Tedder)

I sleep in fitful half-dream

hugging briefcase to my chest

and see nothing out the window

but the grayness of the wing.

Here in a can of strangers

hanging in the bumpy sky,

drone of engines throbbing in my ears,

I long for the weight of my child’s embrace.

A pilot sits beside me

on his way to another flight,

sleeping in fitful half-dreams

and hugs his medalled cap to his chest.