poem for nonna

today’s a sunny day, i’m thinking of you

you coming down the street with bundles

me with friends

you smile, say hello to my friends

and then the rest of the conversation is in italian

like you don’t know how to say it in english.

i remember you working in zampieri’s bakery

you would say yes sir to the women

no matter how many times i said

nonna say yes madam or yes miss.

today trying to read a italian newspaper

i’m thinking of you

how you argued with mama and dad

mama wanting not to teach me italian

growing up in world war 2

they weren’t to speak the language of the enemy

and dad wanting to teach me the genovese dialect

but you won out, it would be proper italian

but you always said

my italian grammar was bad

and i should have taken italian

but i thought french was cool for a english major

and i fiqured

reading dante in translation would be good enough

and your leftist guinea dyke granddaughter

was too busy fighting for

women and gays and colors

too busy hiding from her guinea self

to understand what i was losing

today, reading dad’s brain MRI report

i’m thinking of you

the massive stroke

one minute standing, the next dead

how you didn’t die in a hospital

tubes up your nose

your spirit dying

it frightened you so

that day

in the middle of my crying

this agnostic looked up to the heavens

and thanked whoever

for taking you quick

for not putting you in that hospital bed.

©- 2003 – Vittoria repetto


Posted on June 9, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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