Nonno came to start a new life America.

How lucky I am that Nonna agreed to stay.

Scan 24

The Ticket

In the dank cellar on Oak Avenue,

Regina shovels coal into the firebox.

Outside, the hens squawk about their fate.

She misses the hill town in Piemonte,

where the earth drives you mad with the scent of growing things.

Here, there is bread to bake and children to bear,

the ache in the small of her back

indifferent to her desire

for purses of gnocchi and fresh butter.

Here there are no clusters of purple grapes

ripening under an apricot sky,

just grey sheets to soak

in a claw-footed tub

and a brown metal bed that lists.

She used to feast on music and laughter,

stories, tart and sweet,

but those days are done

and she is swallowed up

by black stockings, rolled down to just below her knees,

and shapeless dresses skirting hard-looking calves.

With a ragged moppeen,

she scrubs away regrets,

kneels on yellowed linoleum squares

in a house grown smaller in size.

She fingers the ticket in her pocket.

Will he remember the feel of her cheekbones,

the line of her hip under his hand?

She packs the one smiling photograph of them.

That and the white silk dress on a wire hanger.


Toni 2/19/15


14 thoughts on “DID SOMEONE SAY #TBT?

    1. Nonna left my grandfather after a few years, took her firstborn, and went back to her home and family in Italy. She wasn’t happy here in the US, worked day and night in the garden and wringing the necks of chickens, and had to keep men borders to make ends meet. Imagine the laundry and cooking. However, when she went back to her little hill town, her memory of the idyllic life didn’t hold up. No running water or electricity or communication with the rest of the world, let alone the neighboring village. She came back after about 8 months, had five more kids, and never looked back. Our family is ever grateful. Toni


    1. THX, Jen. Welcome to blogging, but especially to WWWW. We have such fun with WordPress and you will too. Actually, you already are! I loved the WP Blogging U, writing 201 in poetry, class, didn’t you? There’s so much to learn and new people to learn from. It truly is a community of like-minded folks. Come visit us again, come soon, come often. Toni


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