Alicia Patti

Rookie (Boston, MA)

Viva L’America!


They were told the streets were paved with gold.
I remember the pain and pride in my father’s eyes as he pounded
the kitchen table, his big fist like a hammer of God,
and my mother’s sighs in measured counterpoint,
singing a mournful Italian opera.

Verdi and his trumpets were my best friends then,
late at night snuggled in a four poster with my older sister,
miming Caruso and the Great Adelina.
My father’s tenor would match her heavenly soprano,
the ancient radio trembling from their symphonic ardor.

So long ago. The taste of ragu still caresses my tongue,
memorized forever from a big bowl of pasta, passed
with reverence around the rickety kitchen table.

Ellis Island was paradise to them, and after
the big war was over, my father never stopped
reminding us, forefinger raised to the sky,
a passionate glow in his blue Sicilian eyes:

“Mussolini e muorta. Viva L’America! ”

All the Old Timers are gone now;
gone the babushkas and the mandolins;
nevermore the tarantella or endless bocce games
played by the devoted.

Sadly lost are summertime block parties
redolent of Italy:
scratchy records playing Dino and Sinatra -
benevolent hymns to the glorious homeland,
ancient loudspeakers echoing
in mournful nostalgia.

Colorful Saint-Day Parades
through cobblestoned streets, precarious
at best, are passé too.
The Madonna has been laid to rest,
along with her son, never again
to rise on Easter morning;
they have broken the backs of those old timers
and, to the rest of us
Ellis Island is but a memory.

Submitted: Sunday, May 04, 2008

Form:


Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Viva L’America! by Alicia Patti )

Enter the verification code :

  • Freshman - 1,107 Points David Harris (5/5/2008 12:24:00 PM)

    Alicia, when you reminisce you take the reader with you as you stroll along. A beautiful poem and I agree with James a delightful tribute as well. Top marks and thanks for sharing it my friend.
    David (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. A Familiar Letter, Oliver Wendell Holmes
  6. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  7. Wedding Anniversary Wishes -Bhaiya Bhabh.., Priya Arora
  8. A Smile To Remember, Charles Bukowski
  9. Tonight I can write the saddest lines, Pablo Neruda
  10. One Art, Elizabeth Bishop

Poem of the Day

poet Oliver Wendell Holmes

YES, write, if you want to, there's nothing like trying;
Who knows what a treasure your casket may hold?
I'll show you that rhyming's as easy as lying,
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Silent Light, William Waterway
  2. Birthday, Gunde Narsing Rao
  3. Devil, Emranor Reja
  4. Elegy for Tomorrow, Jahred Bertolfo
  5. In a way all are slaves., Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  6. To vent anger, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  7. Fate, Free Will and God, Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  8. Love Note 13, Michael P. McParland
  9. Many Good Reasons To Cry, Bill Galvin
  10. Committing To A Cause, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
[Hata Bildir]