First time keeping

an epistolary pantoum, to mark the occasion

Dearest Micah:
I write these lines
while you’re sleeping,
first time in my keeping.

I write these lines
having rocked you to sleep,
first time in my keeping,
listening to you breathing.

Having rocked you to sleep,
these moments, ever sweet,
listening to you breathing
—I am complete.

These moments, ever sweet
while you’re sleeping.
I am complete,
dearest Micah.

My precious Micah, 4 mos. 3/7/2022. #FrannaMagic

with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Life Story Challenge every day in the month of March.

To write a pantoum, use this line sequence:
1234 2546 5768 7381

24 thoughts on “First time keeping

  1. Oh my, she is so precious with those rose bud lips, nose, and small hand. I love her photo and your pantoum with rhyme is perfect, as Janet said. I love her in her flowered PJs and her rabbit quilt. I think this stanza is my favorite “Having rocked you to sleep, / these moments, ever sweet, / listening to you breathing /—I am complete.” I resonate with this because it reminded me of rocking our girls, laying them in their crib, watching them sleep, and listening to them breathing. Once with our youngest daughter on her first night in her big girl bed, I stayed watching her and wrote a poem. That moment in time is etched in my heart because I took the time to write about it. As you have wrote poems about your Micah and your other granddaughter, these moments will be etched in your heart, to savor, and reflect back on as your granddaughters grow older. You will have these treasures. I wish I had taken the time to write more poems when my daughters were young. I am happy that you are taking the time to write about your granddaughters and sharing your poems with us. Thank you for sharing your precious bundles of joy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just replied to Janet that my blog is a scrapbook of moments that I hope will mean much to Micah and her big sister, Scout, in the future. Poetry works so well for preserving the sense of these moments, which are often too deep to adequately convey. That rabbit quilt happens to have been one made for Micah’s uncle (her dad’s little brother) when he was a baby. Many layers of precious here, for me! Many thanks-


  2. Your epistolary pantoum is perfect here – each new line of elaboration is like a tiny breath, inhale, exhale. I can hear it. I can hear your completeness and feel it in the words.

    And then

    the picture. Oh, Franna! You are blessed. And so is she. I see the future of a loved child and the warmth of family, and deep sleep is one way to feel security and trust.
    God is good, all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He IS good, all the time – I see His hand at work and am in awe. Micah is such a reminder. The rocking to sleep…she fights taking naps even though she’s tired and my son discovered by playing lullaby hymns and sort of dance-rocking her in a Snugli-type harness, that she will go to sleep. I couldn’t managed the harness (!!) but I played the lullaby hymns on my phone app and you can see the result – I was able to lay her down and she slept like a rock for about an hour. She was full of smiles for me on waking – completely melting my heart. Blessed, blessed, blessed…


  3. The pantoum is your heart just bursting with love; we can feel it in your lines. It fills my heart, too, maybe in remembrance of rocking my own babies at home, the babies in the NICU…Thanks for the example of the structure, too. I’m aiming for poetic Slices on Fridays for SOLSC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Chris – I so wanted to commemorate the first time I kept Micah. There is nothing like soothing a tired, fussy baby to sleep. Moments too precious and deep for words – maybe that’s why poetry appeals for the occasion, with its conciseness. I love the flow of a pantoum and something tells me it is a form you’ll rock-! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Franna, what a precious, precious treat to be with her, in your keeping. I loved “listening to you breathing
    —I am complete”
    Oh, thanks for the lovely photo and your sweet rhyming pantoum today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely lovely, Fran. I read this early on Tuesday right before my 2-yr-old grandgirl arrived for a day with the grandparents. She had a 102 fever but with extra nourish and loving care she bounced back. Micah is such a little angel when asleep. “I am complete” is the perfect expression of Grandma Love. Your pantoum are wonderful and I still cannot master this form but I will keep trying with your inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my – hope your little one is feeling better, Carol. My grandmother told me many times that when I was sick, I would cry for her and my dad finally would call and ask if he could bring me. She always said yes and stopped what she was doing to rock me…I cherish the story. It set the stage for the lifetime of love between Grandma and me. I see the same for us and our girls, Carol! Blessings beyond measure. I love the pantoum form and keep playing around with it. There’s a unique flow, with those lines running in and out. It tends to develop differently each time but I have learned to be strategic with the first line as it is also the last, and like the final note of a song, it has to fall just right (so I strive!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are kindred souls, Fran. Our devotion to our grandgirls is everlasting. Thanks for your guidance with the pantoum. I think I might have one brewing. My sweet little Aurora spent the day with us and miraculously her fever broke. I remember the care my mother shared when I had a fever and so I modeled my actions based on hers. The Lord intervened.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Fran, what absolute perfection beginning with baby MIcah and perfect moments that led to your pantoum. She will cherish these words, just as we cherish your words. I’ve wandered through your posts this morning!

    Liked by 1 person

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