Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: For Cullen: Four Days Old, Waking

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

In today’s poem Preston Hood, who lives and writes in Lyman, sings the praises of a newborn grandson.

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.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2011 by Preston Hood. Reprinted from The Hallelujah of Listening, Cervena Barva Press, 2011, by permission of Preston Hood. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.