Carol Tyx

Last night on the phone

my son told me he left his four month old son

in the car, forgetting he was there.

In the checkout line, he remembered.

Abandoning his cart, he flung himself

through the line.

The police had opened the door

and the baby was quiet,

but they wouldn’t let my son

touch his child. I don’t know

what happened inside him

or the baby as he watched his father

dissolve, then reappear, crying,

and I don’t know what to say on the phone

murmuring, “Oh sweetie, oh sweetie,”

words I never use, words my father said to me

when I stuck my hand in the blades of a lawnmower

and I cried in the grass holding the flesh together.

Carol Tyx teaches writing and American literature at Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Her work has been most recently published in Sojourners, Pirene’s Fountain, RHINO, the Aurorean, Poetry East, Tenth Muse, Iowa City Poetry in Public, and a chapbook, The Fifty Poems. On any given day you might find her cooking with kale, contra dancing, or standing on her head.

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