The nurse hands the newborn
to his mother. Her husband stands
by the window, pats his pockets
like a cop searching a suspect,
finds his cigarettes and leaves
the room. Mary keeps still,
afraid she might wake the baby.
She counts fingers, toes,
nods each time she reaches
ten. She examines his thick
neck, slack jaw, fat rutted tongue
and wants to touch, stroke
his head, press her thumbs
into the small soft spot, squeeze
until her son screams sirens.
Tony Gloeggler is a life-long resident of New York City. His work has appeared in Rattle, The Raleigh Review, New Ohio Review, The Examined Life, Chiron Review and Nerve Cowboy. His last book Until The Last Light Leaves (NYQ Books 2015) was a finalist in the 2016 Binghamton University Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and focuses on his connection to an ex-girlfriend's autistic son and his 35 years of managing group homes for the mentally challenged in Brooklyn.
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