Anna Limontas-Salisbury

Anna Limontas-Salisbury is a New York City poet, writer, and educator. Her work can be found at Raising Mothers, 10th Annual (and Final) OS NaPoMo 30/30/30, SFWP Quarterly Special Issue BIPOC On Pleasure, The Poets Corner, and forth coming in the anthology, I Wanna Be Loved By You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe by Milk & Cake Press 2022. Salisbury is a graduate of Hunter College and Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Gen X mother to one Millennial daughter, and Generation Z son. She is still processing motherhood in her newest role as Grand Diva to one granddaughter.

A Man Had a Knife on the 6 Train Heading South

I’m a mother.
I hear my children’s needs in birdcalls.
A Mourning Dove. Check in.
A Robin. Bake banana bread.
A Turkey Buzzard. Hoover. Sit. Wait.

A switchblade in a hand turned backwards
On an upside down human
Swerving, swirling in their own head
Splashing in their own eyeball sockets

A boy kicking his feet happily
A dad standing watch, not seeing
A woman is a carvers delight
All veins to blood, tendons to tenderize
I usher my children to the platform
A platform, a safety net with holes

I’m a mother
Rushing to the conductor
To give him my breath
Breadth and depth

I’m a mother
I hear my children’s needs in birdcalls.
A Mourning Dove. Check in.
A Robin. Bake banana bread
A Turkey Buzzard. Hover. Sit. Wait.

----------------------------------------------- // ---------------------------------------------------------

Kings, Men in Robes

It’s at the moment Father Abraham
Brings down the knife on the body of Isaac

It’s at the moment King Solomon
Requests a sword for the babe

Men in robes changing the shape of family

Rodents gnawing at the bark

In a courtroom you sit listening
As men discuss your mothering

They wonder about your influence over the boy you bore

A boy, almost a man

A boy you gave milk, meat and marrow

Ocean waves and stargazing

Biscuits by hand, and books
Bow ties and cufflinks

You feel nothing but outrage
When told to pay child support
To a man who holds hostage
The house keys and your business

You feel nothing but rage as
He trots about with the boy and new chick
A cruise, a trip to Paris, that weekend to Washington D.C.
And Thursday night therapy

You are the mother before King Solomon
Your cry holds back the sword

You hear the voice of the angel calling from heaven
“Abraham! Abraham!” 

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