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That Morning

02.17.18 Posted in today's words by

Thomas Locicero’s most recent poem to appear here was “How We Learned to be Men” (January 2018).

That Morning
for Lisa

By Thomas Locicero

She was quick to solemnize her announcement
without considering the consequences.
Now the cheerful words of her pronouncement
prove to riddle and suspend her senses.

Her waist as small as a seamstress’s thimble,
her illness limping and balling her fists
while her legs, ersatz limbs, but a symbol
of what the child might be, but she insists

on cosseting his body inside her own
with clay armor and little more than hope,
and since the child’s father is for now gone,
she has become a curious misanthrope.

She is not the type one would mollycoddle.
Her bird pelvis is her child’s wishbone.
Her myotonic hands too clawed to swaddle;
still, she is resolute to raise him alone.

The father takes the child for a morning
as her illness insists upon its rest.
Startled, she awakens as if by warning
to find a doll-eyed baby at her breast

no longer able to drink from his cistern
or shake himself from his lobotomized look.
In a drunken confession, she’d later learn
that morning, the child cried and the father shook.

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