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Thursday, March 02, 2006


by Jan Marin Tramontano

The March winds blew hard
leaving me off balance
pulling me
into the eye of a storm
I feel but cannot see.

As I lie on the frozen ground
looking at the rumbling sky
I imagine my son
crawling on his belly,
the sand thick in his throat
his upper lip heavy with sweat

He imitates a serpent
ready to pounce and suck
the life blood from the enemy
even though he doesn’t know who
that is - not really,
and with thumping
he waits.

My son never liked to wait,
impatient, ebullient, always
sure, but now
he is in the longest wait of his life
on his belly, in the heat,
in the part of the world
where civilization began,

in the very same place
that held a garden of promise,
but then, as now
a serpent was lying in wait

slithering on his belly
to find the right place
to strike, to take what
is not his,
altering the course of the world.

Jan Marin Tramontano writes poetry and fiction. Her poems and stories have appeared in Poets Canvas, Chronogram, American Intercultural Magazine, Peer Glass Anthology, Screed, Surviving Ophelia, Ophelia’s Mom, Knock, Byline and paperplates. She wrote her father’s memoir, I Am a Fortunate Man, and a poetry chapbook, Floating Islands.