What does the baby monitor amplify?

an off-key lullaby

the truck, loud neighbor, or garage door you're cursing

 Ernst Barlach, "Die Wiege" (The Cradle)  PC: THE MetROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

Ernst Barlach, "Die Wiege" (The Cradle)

PC: THE MetROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

your certainty that if you stop watching, your baby will stop breathing

your breath as you listen for the baby's

the static of a white noise machine

the cry that comes before the cry that means you'll have to go in

your partner's impenetrable sleep

 

 

the foreboding that something horrible has happened just offscreen

the fight you'd prefer the rest of your visiting relatives hadn't just heard

 Ernst Barlach, The Listeners.  PC:  The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

Ernst Barlach, The Listeners.

PC: The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

a cheerful "I love you!" at tuck-in

a laugh...or a cry?

the rusting of sheets...or ripping of library books?

a small brown stuffed animal...or a mess to clean tomorrow?

the closet door...or the bedroom door?

your screaming at your child for screaming at you

exclamations of "I did it!"

wonder of what "it" you'll find in the morning

grievances recounted

confidences whispered to stuffed animals

the new book read aloud three times

the book hitting the floor

the need for a private inner life.