Birth, by Charlie Brice
One hundred twelve years ago Marc Chagall
readied his palette, gripped his brush like
a conductor’s baton, swept it across his canvas,
and delivered Birth.
How weary the writhing bloodied mother,
how somber the midwife as she anxiously
offers the newborn to our eyes, and what
a sneak, that husband, who peaks between
bed and canopy.
Aglow with excitement villagers crowd
into the room. One man brings his cow
to see the new life. A peeping rabbi, his
face framed by a window pane, peers
into the room.
This pink bubala ignites the village,
vibrant in veneration, benediction,
and bathed in vermilion.
Charlie Brice won the 2020 Field Guide Poetry Magazine Poetry Contest and placed third in the 2021 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize. His fifth full-length poetry collection is The Ventriloquist (WordTech Editions, 2022). His poetry has been nominated twice for the Best of Net Anthology and three times for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Atlanta Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Ibbetson Street, The Paterson Literary Review, Impspired Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, and elsewhere.
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