Monday, February 17, 2020

2/24/2020 Scott Caputo

2/24/2020   Scott Caputo hosted by Gary

Originally from Salem, Oregon, Scott Caputo has had a life-long love affair with writing poetry and creating games.   His work has appeared in Red Rock Review, Ruah, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and Saranac Review.  Blue Light Press published his second book of poems, The Bridge Under Construction, in 2019, and his first book, Holy Trinity of Chiles, in 2010.  "Memories of a Preemie" was nominated for the 2019 Pushcart Prize.  He also has five published board games, including Völuspá, based on the Nordic epic poem of the same name.  He currently resides in Newark, California, with his wife and two sons.  

Memories of a Preemie

First memories
are newborn hairs
trailing off
soft infant heads.

So I hoped for my son
who lived his first weeks
in a heated box
hooked to heart monitors
a feeding tube
threaded up his nose
down to his tiny
walnut-sized stomach
all day a slumber
under bright blue
bleaching yellow
from his fresh skin
eyes closed
to the world.

Evenings after work
I scrubbed my hands orange
before entering the NICU
a room punctuated
by heart and breath
monitors beeping
suddenly screaming
before settling again.
Nurses rowed between
shuttered pods
cheerful blankets
hiding the one inside.
I held my son to my bare chest
let him feel my body heat
before putting him back
inside his incubator
for night after night.

My wife and I
hoped his first weeks
of solitude
would barely smudge
the mirror of his mind.

But months later
well after he came home to us
well after he learned to smile
we brought him back
to be with his former
roommates and nurses
a party with balloons and cake.

I did not expect how strongly
my son would embrace
his daytime nurse.
He last saw her when he was only
a few weeks old.
He gripped her with everything
a six-month old could give.
Somewhere deep inside
he was being held again
outside his glass box
human touch
timeless and warm.

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