For Jillian Grace

On my screen, you appear
smaller than your 2.9 kilos—
kilos because, from the start,
you are a British baby,
unlike your older sister, born
in the same upstate New York
hospital as your mother,
just miles from where
I, bleary-eyed at dawn,
stare at your first photos.

Your dark hair peeks
from under the knit cap
meant to keep you warm
as you adjust to air,
not the tiny ocean
that had been your home
for thirty-seven weeks,
your cheeks rosy
against the white blankets
and Winnie-the-Pooh sleeper.

I long to cradle you,
to breathe your newborn scent,
stroke your soft skin,
feel your fingers
wrap one of mine,
hum quiet lullabies,
claim you as my granddaughter,
but you are thirty-five hundred miles
and a pandemic
away.

*

Joanne Corey has been part of The Binghamton Poetry Project since 2014 and credits her growth as a poet to all her instructors and the local poets she has met through BPP connections. She lives in Vestal with her family and invites you to follow her blog at https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/. She attended Shin Watanabe’s Deepening Craft workshop during fall 2020.

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