A baby is nothing but a bundle of numbers:
ounces gained, inches grown,
the volume of formula, the frequency
of feedings over and over
and over. Onesies.
Terrible twos, three little pigs, ear drops four
times a day, five fat fingers
smearing the food pyramid on the wall.
During your pregnancy, you gain
seventeen pounds. The baby
weighs seven pounds even, so
the rest goes to your brain
and another baby grows and grows
and makes you hate the pink and wrinkly thing alive
outside your body.
Motherhood is nothing but a bundle of numbers:
the minutes that pass between cries, the hours
spent in bed, the days you don’t get dressed, the nights
you walk like days, the duration of blubbering
that forces you to re-open your eyes on the expressway.
The brain child wants to kill you both. A little voice,
maybe yours—maybe the pink and wrinkly thing’s—
tells you that you can’t let that happen.
So you don’t drive into six-ton trees and don’t drop it
twelve stories out the window or drown it
in three and a half inches of bathwater. You remind yourself
to hug him every four hours and change him promptly
after he makes a number two. One by one
you kiss his ten fingers and ten toes.
Numbers saved you. Five, ten, twenty, forty
milligrams of happiness on the tip of your tongue.