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Lover, Is This Exile? and OF DC are still in print from InnererKlang@aol.com

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A prose poem is available online at The Literary Review

Robert Gibbons writes a regular column, “Observations," for an online magazine out of Switzerland at www.niederngasse.com


Robert Gibbons

Before Each Sacrifice

He counted twice before
bringing down a tree to turn it
into charcoal.
First, it was a living thing.
Second, it might have hidden powers.
The brief pause
before each sacrifice
assured Nassir avoided harm.
When the lone date palm in his village
of Betaaboura, Lebanon was destroyed
he knew the man
would come to grief.
A neighbor, disturbed that bats feasted on the fruit,
reluctant to cut down the tree his father planted
fifty years ago,
let his uncle’s son convince him it was in the way.
The cousin drilled the hole
to add the poison.
Within a month: a withered silhouette.
As bad luck had it, while ploughing in the field
the tiller caught the man’s pant leg
chewing down to flesh to ankle bone.
He still walks,
but with difficulty,
five steel rods clanging
rigid in the limb.