Treasure Island

Allesandra Patti


Nostalgia in C Minor - Circa 1940


Summer block parties, mama and papa
kicking up their heels to the tarantella-
such happy toe tapping. Signoras crowding in,
twirling their babushkas, and me so proud.
Running wild among the stalls, sampling
a pizza slice here, a pepperoni stick there.
Invented games: kick-the-can, stickball,
Red Rover, Red Rover, send over, send over -
Please, say Maria!

Charity handouts at school, out of control,
sneaking back in line for seconds.
Chocolate ice cream never tasted so good...
Mama's hand squeezing mine in the bread line.
Papa's wheezing as he waited for the truck
to take him to work at the dock,
his yellow fingers, thick as small bananas...

Mama twisting her black hair into a severe bun,
while in the parlor, old crones drone the rosary.

Ave, Maria.

And overall the smell of sweet carnations.

Papa's fragile fingers,
draped by mama's rosary beads,
were white as polished ivory.

Submitted: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
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