Published on Academy of American Poets (


On another night
in a hotel
in a room
in a city
flanked by all
that is unfamiliar
I am able to move
my finger along
a glass screen
once across
once vertical
& in seconds
see your mother
smiling in a room
that is our own
that is now so
far away but
also not so far
away at all
& she can place
the small screen
near her belly
& when I speak
I can see you
moving beneath
her skin as if you
knew that this
distance was
only temporary
& what a small
yet profound
joy it is to be some-
where that is not
with you but to
still be with you
& see your feet
dance beneath
her rib cage like
you knew we’d
both be dancing
together soon.


Copyright © 2017 by Clint Smith. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 11, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“When my partner was pregnant with our son I would sometimes be away from home on tour for my first book. Evening FaceTime sessions once I got back to the hotel room were the highlights of each day, and made being away from home a bit more bearable. Much is made about the ways technology can compromise or fracture human relationships, but I think often of the remarkable opportunities that technology has afforded us to be closer to those we love in ways we could never have previously imagined.”
—Clint Smith


Clint Smith

Clint Smith is the author of Counting Descent (Write Bloody Publishing, 2016). 

Date Published: 2017-08-11

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