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Joseph Fasano

                            for the mothers

All his life he'd wearied her with trials,

the hours he made her

chase him through the temple,

the times she let him

walk out through the wilderness,

the times he made her

lift his cross, his youth.

But all of it

has come to this, this stillness.

Waken, she wants to tell him,


And when she wipes his hair

from off his face

of changes,

when she leans down

to his scent of groves

and soldiers,

she whispers him,

in soft words

earth has earned her,

the one prayer

of a queen, a love,

a mother:

Let me once more carry it for you.

Joseph Fasano is a poet, novelist, and songwriter.  His novels include The Swallows of Lunetto (forthcoming from Maudlin House, 2022) and The Dark Heart of Every Wild Thing (Platypus Press, 2020), which was named one of the "20 Best Small Press Books of 2020."  His books of poetry include The Crossing (2018), Vincent (2015), Inheritance (2014), and Fugue for Other Hands (2013).  His honors include The Cider Press Review Book Award, the Rattle Poetry Prize,, inclusion in the Forward Book of Poetry, and a nomination for the Poets' Prize, "awarded annually for the best book of verse published by a living American poet two years prior to the award year."  His writing has been translated into Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Spanish, Chinese, Swedish, and other languages.  He serves on the Editorial Board of Alice James Books and as the Founder and Curator of the Poem for You Series.  He is currently writing a "living poem" for his son and posting it on Twitter at @stars_poem.

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