Filling

. . . The novocaine hit the nerve,

stinging my eye like a giant

wasp. A blessing. Still shivering

from the impact, I wanted

to send that shot into the world

to camouflage all incipient agonies . . .

–Excerpt from “Filling” in Edges by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag, Chicago, 2016). First published in Willow Review.

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The Geography of Nonna

But even Nonna’s country was not her own,

the long airless voyage under deck less stifling

than the village she left . . . .

–excerpt from “The Geography of Nonna” in Ghost Garden by Donna Pucciani. First published in nebulab.

The Discipline of Gratitude

I am told to be grateful

as I wake each morning

wrapped in the unfolding blanket of dawn,

shake off the moon, dying stars,

and taste the beige-gray breath

of incipient day.

Grateful to whom or what?

–Excerpt from “The Discipline of Gratitude” in Edges by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag, Chicago, 2016). First published in The Christian Century.

A Walk in November

This morning we took

two turns around the block,

grateful for the sun cutting

the frozen lawns into pieces.

The unexpected frost reddens

your ears. It’s time to put away

the baseball cap for something more

substantial . . . .

–Excerpt from “A Walk in November” in Edges by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag, Chicago, 2016). First published in Chaffin Journal.

Padre Ernesto Peels an Apple

When Padre Ernesto peels an apple,

he looks at it carefully,

noting color and texture.

He gives thanks.

–Excerpt from “Padre Ernesto Peels an Apple” in Edges by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag, Chicago 2016).Published in Portland Review, Tipton Poetry Review, and Voices in Italian Americana.

Eyes

The photo of Nonna in the hall

shows full-face her hawkish visage,

the wrinkled tissue-skin, kinky hair

braided around her shrunken head,

mouth folded inward where

teeth used to be, and, dominating all,

riveting bird-eyes sunk in a pale skull . . .

–Excerpt from “Eyes” in Edges by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag, Chicago, 2016). Published in Front Range Review and Atlanta Review.

Dust

. . . Books, clothing, seaside

souvenirs, and blankets

smelling of the sickbed

huddle in black plastic bags

at the curbside like strange

animals awaiting rescue.

Every hour the living

flee to the kitchen for tea.

–Excerpt from “Dust” in Edges by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag, Chicago, 2016). First published in Ambit.