when i was pregnant

we moved new furniture into our bedroom

donated our king-sized bed

which had been squeezed into the space

and downgraded to a queen

so that there would be more room at the bedside

for a bassinet

to hold our baby

we were gifted the bassinet

and it was my favorite gift

i assembled it

sliding the metal bars into place

pulling the mesh into place

washing the fitted sheet

and wrapping it around the thin and firm mattress

i set the whole thing neatly by our bed

suspended next to my side

in our tidy room

with our new furniture

and vacuumed carpeted floor

and i stood back and looked

at the empty

peanut-shaped basket

and tried to picture a baby in there

a baby

sleeping next to me on my side of the bed

and tonight

when i go up to bed

i enter our room

with the glow of the salt lamp

and the box fan already droning

i tiptoe in

sidestepping the board that creaks

gently closing the door

so that the latch doesn’t click too loudly

and i look at my side of the bed


laundry piled on the footboard

the yoga ball taking up space

floor littered with books and a toy knocked down by the cats

socks and clothes

and binkies that rolled out-of-sight

and i look at the most perfect baby

fast asleep in this bassinet

face pressed against the mesh

eyes closed, lashes together

cheeks pushed forward

lips pouted

chest rising and falling almost imperceptibly

little hands resting on the wrinkled fitted sheet

my mind’s eye was never this powerful

to have pictured such a perfect sight

i need to sleep

but i could watch her for hours

if she were to rest that long, that is

i cherish this bassinet

that once held only potential

and now holds what’s most precious to me

my baby

sleeping next to me

on my side of the bed

in the bassinet