Green Olive

Adam Gianforcaro

My brother played the heartbeat while my mother cried.
Nine weeks, he said, and it’s only the size of a green olive.
I imagine this olive as part of an oil painting,
thick with texture on an old stretched canvas.
I can see the faded floral tablecloth, a jar of them
stacked on top of each other, several olives
immersed in the fluids of a mother-to-be.
I want to level this painting on the wall,
make sure people at the gallery give it the attention it deserves.
I don’t even realize the other objects in the painting
until a patron points them out: the large wooden bowl,
a stack of cauliflower, the forest green ribbon.
It’s still hard to focus on anything but the single olive,
one of many in the mason jar, the lid tight for now.

ADAM GIANFORCARO is the author of a book of poetry, Morning Time in the Household, Looking Out, and a children’s book, Uma the Umbrella. He has had several stories and poems published in print and online magazines, most recently (and forthcoming) with Los Angeles Review. He lives in New Jersey.