four a.m. feeding

four a.m. feeding

Original Text

J. A Hamilton, Body Rain (Toronto: Brick Books, 1991): 49-50.

2i go by ache
3and touch
4the song of your hunger
5guides me
6to your humid nest my hands
7curl under your arms and lift
8it's instinct this gift
9i give you at night
10i know you
12smell you when i can't see you
13buttons to unfasten
14half asleep
15it's hard to work my fingers
16and juggle you
17but soon i fold you
18in the crook of my arm
20four hours without you
21look what it does
22you seek me
23blindly rooting for the source
24i croon
25it is there
26i melt and gush
27you choke break cough
28too much
29too fast
30gurgling to your belly
31milk splatters your face and fuzzy scalp
32milk sweet and warm such
33plenty to grow on
34i nuzzle your head
35and rock the chair
36slip my hand
37under your gown
38to fondle
39your miniature toes
40little peach little plum
41i cannot imagine you


1] "written in response to PCBs in breast milk" (poet's note). Use of polychlorinated biphenyls in the United States was banned in 1973 because of their link to cancer. Back to Line
19] these pouches of stone: engorged breasts. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition
Special Copyright

© Jane Eaton Hamilton, from whom permission to republish must be obtained in writing.