The Little Boy Who Is Everything I Know of Love

A poem & a prayer

Yael Wolfe
2 min readMay 15

Photo by Aslı Gönen via Scopio

This is what it feels like, I think
to love a child.
This sticky, gossamer web that
ties us together.
This line from here to there
with each of us at the other end.

It is chemical, it is feral, it is primal.
I held you in my arms and fed you milk from bottles
while you ran your fingers through my hair.
And we stared into each other’s eyes.

You were my baby.

My body felt incomplete without you,
softening into relief only when you curled up
under my chin,
a fistful of hair in your little fingers.

The smell of your hair, the smell of your neck
are not of me
yet somehow, I know those scents the way I know my own.
That smell is the map of my instinct,
the same that instructs the rough tongues of mother wolves,
the same that stirs the roar of mother bears.

I did not carry you,
yet I know you as if you emerged from my body.
Your nails, I look at in wonder,
as if they were created by the nutrients of my body.
Your narrow ribcage, I regard with awe,
as if my bone forged that miraculous and vulnerable edifice.

You are everything I know of love.

But how will I survive not being your mother?
The miles between us are tortuously wide.
I dream of you often,
see your eyes, dark and shiny as coffee beans
in every vision.
I wake with a heart that feels like a too-ripe plum,
a little bruised in the harvesting.

This love is heavy.
Sometimes, I think it’s more than I can handle.

Yael Wolfe

Writer, photographer, artist, and big, bad wolf. | Newsletter: | Email: