Birth Death of a First Son

for Dana Gioia

There was no time to feel; that I had learned
was the point and the curse of this ordeal.
The mother took the look of a woman scorned,
demanding from her husband time to feel,
time to hold, but mostly time to say goodbye,
knowing that from the time the boy was taken,
she would have her entire lifetime to cry
and to feel left and to feel forsaken.
As was the custom, meshed in history,
a thick pinch of the umbilical cord
was to be buried beside an olive tree,
to tangle in its roots, as if in accord.
Though we would never see him as a man,
the tree is his shadow, their heir, of our clan.

Thomas Locicero’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Roanoke Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Long Island Quarterly, The Good Men Project, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Jazz Cigarette, Quail Bell Magazine, Antarctica Journal, Rat’s Ass Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, Hobart, Ponder Review, vox poetica, Poetry Pacific, Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal, Indigo Lit, Saw Palm, Fine Lines, New Thoreau Quarterly, Birmingham Arts Journal, Clockwise Cat, Snapdragon, fēlan, The Ghazal Page, Red Savina Review, Better Than Starbucks, Poetry Quarterly, The Write Launch, Bindweed Magazine, The Skinny Poetry Journal, Abyss & Apex, Avocet, and Speculative 66, among other journals. He lives in Broken Arrow, OK, USA.

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