I See You

I see you
a toddler
running towards me
arms open wide
eyes taking in
the whole world outside
that small body of yours.
I pick you up
lift you up
in a hug
in a humungous hug
as you cling to my neck
your nose snuggling down
deep under my hair
taking in the familiar of me.

And I see you there
first day at school
sleeves way too long
for arms to grow into.
You stride through the gate
not looking back
but tumbling along
best friend beside you
giggling large
no need to wave me
goodbye.

And I see you now
the teenager tall
there at the disco
‘Don’t make me!’
‘You must go.’
Gawky and long
no notion of where
you should place
those legs
those arms
fully grown
but somehow
you get the girl anyway,
grooving away
no sweat.

And I see you
there with your lover
tentative hand
taking tentative hand
strolling the beach
sun-kissed lips
and the salt of the waves
dry on your skin.
New love in the air.

And I see you
first day at work
walk amongst skyscrapers
briefcase in hand
fear and excitement marrying well
in your grown man’s form.

I see you.
I see all of this
I see all this for you.
And more.

Much more.

But today I watch.
Your chest being pumped
inhale and exhale
inhale and exhale
your leg
the size of my wedding band
wrapped ’round my finger,
a tube feeding milk
I’ve expressed before dawn
in a room with the other
exhausted
so utterly
utterly
exhausted mothers.

‘Prem mums’ they call us.
We are the ‘prem mums’.

I watch
as the nurse rolls you ever so tenderly
ever so
ever so
ever so tenderly
fitting you there
in the palm of her hand,
a bag and a quarter
of sugar,
one thousand
two hundred
and seventy six
grams
of you.

I watch with ‘the mother’s stare’
hour upon hour
the thread never breaking,
not even a moment
when we’re not attached.
So early
so early.
So nearly not here.

But you are.
And I am.
And I sit
and I watch
and I see.

And I see you.

 

Sue Bevan is an award-winning Welsh playwright, poet, essayist and blogger. Mum’s The Word won the last Drama Association of Wales International One Act Play Competition, and her 4* award-nominated An Audience With Shurl has travelled from The US and Cape Town to Prague, Sweden and Edinburgh.