Donald Zirilli was a finalist for the James Tate Prize and a nominee for the Forward Prize. He was editor of Now Culture and is a member of the Red Wheelbarrow Gang. His poetry was published in Anti- poetry magazine, ART TIMES, Nerve Lantern, River Styx, and other periodicals and anthologies. He and his wife live in an idyllic corner of New Jersey with two dogs and a cat. His chapbook, Heaven’s Not For You, was published in September 2018 by Kelsay Books.
My Mother Won’t Let Go
My mother won’t let go, as if I were
a kite or fishing pole. The party’s not
for me. The celebrants all stare at her,
at us, at this unending clutch, this clot
of blood, of love. She won’t endure the loss,
won’t let me die or even be afraid
of dying, not while she’s alive, the cost
too high to borrow or collect. She’s paid
enough already, watched me grow apart
and blessed me on my way. She won’t condone
departure from this world. She holds on hard,
as if she were a cast on broken bones.
A love too great for me to comprehend,
the power that made me will not let me end.