"When they leave home" by Theresa Senato Edwards
When they leave home
the oldest goes too soon, braces still on his teeth. Mother sniffs lilacs,
drug gone to her stump heart in the body of spring. How leaving
widens the younger child’s skin, effects of time travel: his going
back in dreams, looking for his brother at the side door, exhausted
with the rocks of adolescence. When one son leaves home, Mother hears
dirges from a balcony or pew. When the other isn’t ready, she crowds
a dark well with prayer. Watches him pace each threshold, sluggish
sock-covered stride, kaleidoscope numb until dark. The moon sheds.
THERESA SENATO EDWARDS
Theresa Senato Edwards has published two full-length poetry books, including one with painter Lori Schreiner, which won The Tacenda Literary Award for Best Book, and two chapbooks. Excerpts and poems from her newest manuscript can be found in Stirring, Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, Thrush Poetry Journal, UCity Review, Diode Poetry Journal, Rogue Agent, Mom Egg Review, Menacing Hedge and elsewhere. Edwards was nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, received creative writing residencies from Drop Forge and Tool and Craigardan, and is Editor-in-Chief of The American Poetry Journal (APJ). Her website is https://theresasenatoedwards.wixsite.com/tsenatoedwards.
Headshot: Lucia Cherciu
Photo Credit: Staff