‘The Iceman’s Helper,’ new poem published for a New Year!

thrilled to have this piece published in a beautiful journal – authors of Italian heritage  (click here to visit the first new edition of 2020!)

I wish my dad was still around – he would have loved this! Proud to be included in Ovunque Siamo
my poem “The Iceman’s Helper” was inspired by my father’s wonderful childhood stories, and the inset photo (my dad Vito W between my grandparents, Vito D and Grace). For Vito❤️

Stronger

Honored to have my poem “Stronger” published in Literary Mama-a beautiful testament to the spirit of motherhood…
“Literary Mama first started to take shape in 2002 as a class called Writing About Motherhood taught in Berkeley, California by Amy Hudock. A group of mothers continued meeting at the conclusion of the class, and within months, had connected with other mother writers who, like them, were producing work that was deemed too complex for glossy parenting magazines and too mother-centric for traditional literary journals.”

“…our current staff of 27 includes women from across the United States, Canada, and Israel. We’re communications professionals, university professors, writers, editors, copy editors, photographers, and moms. Our contributors hail from all corners of the world.”

Stronger

a worn woman stands in my mirror
half-cocked smile working its way to the corners
my mother deserves a joyful daughter
my mother, the one in the mechanical bed
I remember a version of me
standing tall with my broad frame and big hands
(gifts from my dad)
ready to take on life’s traveling circus
I fancied myself a carnival strong-woman
all muscles and charisma

what of this beaten figure confiscating my reflection
proud shoulders curving toward the dirt
hands large like her father’s, now achy and brittle

I long for a return to those 360-mirror days
sauntering like a big cat
pumping fierce iron
positive in mind and powerful in body
yet here I am with the memory
unable to ignite the revival
my beloved weights, big stacks once impressive to many
abandoned on a cold gym floor somewhere

still I lift every day
my mother’s broken body like a heaving sack of flour

from bed to wheelchair to commode
up and down up and down
up ramps down ramps side ramps
in around and back again

with each passing day
I grow stronger

 

blackest days

school right around the corner, time doesn’t fly it rockets
I’ve been altering colored photos of my children when they were younger and appeared more innocent😉
I enjoy stepping away from pencil and pen once in awhile and pretend I’m a photographer

may she sparkle

Caroline detail

Caroline detail

Didn’t think much about it. I seldom do. Heard it was difficult. It is. She’s going off to become whatever it is she wants to become. She will be a student of sustainable agriculture. I ventured into Mad Men territory while in school. We are different that way. The best way possible. She will try to effect agricultural change. Make an earthly impact. Walking our Dachshund this morning (still miss my Shepherd) gazing down at the road thinking back to those days–trying to remember lessons for her. The rocks and tar rolled out then rumbled flat. There are cracks and joint fixes. Sparkles of glass and dull-faced stones. Her life will be like this road. Combinations of things adhered together, splitting sometimes, getting fixed or not, hot in the heat, icy in the cold–dangerous at times. Her feet will walk as she destines they should–barefoot or booted. She will be smart and she will not be smart. Go off to study abroad. Maybe fall in love or at least what she thinks is. I pray she will be happy. I know to ask for ‘always’ is unrealistic. She is so much more confident than I was at that age. I’m hoping enough to keep her out of situations. When one doesn’t like who they see each morning in the glass, trouble follows. I didn’t think she would be teary-eyed. She is. But she is also excited. Imagine, it’s all shiny right now…may it glisten for a long while. This place is more raw than ever. And they all know it. Let them enjoy the sparkle in a bubble while they can pretend.
caroline largerphoto detail-Caroline, age 18
above, painting detail, from a larger portrait-Caroline is 8