St. Luke’s-Roosevelt, New York City
Remember when I said to you, Hold your son.
And you said, Later. And I said, You didn’t hold him
yesterday. Hold your son now. I knew you were afraid,
but you took him from me, and held him.
I watched you feel the smallness, saw the terror
when you realized how light he was, lighter than
the wood logs you split, the shovelsful of soil
you turned over in your father’s garden,
all the labor a son does when a father demands it —
pouring cement, stacking wood, burying fig trees.
The lightest thing you held was the bird in your arms
just before you killed it. Light, dumb chicken,
so easy to chop off its head, no heavier
than your two-day old son.
U.S. 1 Worksheets
Through the Oak Tree, poetry collection, Kelsay Books
Susan Gerardi Bello lives in Newtown with her husband and son. When she should be writing, she is usually out in the garden pulling weeds or transplanting perennials. Her first book of poetry Through the Oak Tree is available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Poet’s Corner is curated by Bucks County Poet Laureate Tom Mallouk and supported by a grant to the Bucks County Herald Foundation made possible by Marv and Dee Ann Woodall.