“The Best Drops of Him” By: Tim Staley

Image a new father on a park bench,
in his lap his baby is latching on,
it’s true, this baby is chestfeeding.
 
Women love to keep men’s dugs in the dark,
they don’t want us to know
we have milk ducts, mammary tissue,
oxytocin, prolactin, all the hormones
needed to brew milk in our own body,
even American men do.
 
The new father feels the weight
of his left peck start to lessen,
he shifts the babe from one nipple
to the other, natural, magical.
I’m not saying it’s easy or popular,
and I can’t speak to the nutritional value,
but he stimulated his nipples
for several hours each day, usually
after work, but sometimes
in the teacher’s lounge. His poor
nipples, two swollen gherkins
rolled between fingers for months
and months before even a drop,
the slightest drop, but Oh!
what a drop it was,
it tasted like onion.
 
The new father sits in a folding chair
next to the new mother at the milk bank.
Both are hooked up to the pump.
There’s no talking, it doesn’t matter.
Some balance at last between them.
It’s 3 AM and outside the children’s hospital,
Fannin Street is quiet.

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