Please Come

. . . you’ve been to La Scala, swum the Med,

climbed the peaks of Pollino, eaten calamari on Capri,

sailed the canals, touched the finger of God

in the Sistine Chapel. But here is the Water Tower,

where Mrs. O’Learys cow started the Chicago Fire . . . .

–excerpt from “Please Come” in Ghost Garden by Donna Pucciani.

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Carlo’s Axe

West New York, circa 1922

. . . My father related this story decades later,

my grandfather having dropped dead

at a friend’s after pasta and Chianti . . . .

–excerpt from “Carlo’s Axe” in Ghost Garden by Donna Pucciani. First published in Italian Americana and Pennine Ink.

Inheritance

Squiggling sperm gave its own shape

to this headful of fluff and frivolity that is

not me, that in the rain, sticks to my wondering cheek . . .

–excerpt from “Inheritance” in Ghost Garden by Donna Pucciani. First published in Fifth Wednesday Journal.

Grandpa’s Horn

. . . gurus of orchestral instruments

had “never seen anything like it.”

It had sailed with Grandpa, crowded

into steerage on the Citta’ di Milano in 1903 . . .

–excerpt from “Grandpa’s Horn” in Ghost Garden by Donna Pucciani. First published in Coffee House.

 

Grandpa’s Horn

It is not hard to imagine

my grandfather dusting off his horn,

tying a rag around his head,

and donning his white tunic for the procession . . . .

–excerpt from “Grandpa’s Horn” in Ghost Garden by Donna Pucciani. First published in Coffee House.

 

Learning Italian

Ho bisogno di pratica. I need practice.

I walk the streets at dawn reciting sotto voce

the days of the week: lunedi . . .

–Excerpt from “Learning Italian” in EDGES by Donna Pucciani. First published in Newport Review.

All Quiet

. . . I have written painstaking letters in English

and Italian to those with my name,

kidnapped from telephone directories,

who will open my letter one evening . . .

–excerpt from “All Quiet” in Ghost Garden by Donna Pucciani. First published in Wisconsin Review.