Tag Archives: childhood

Backscratcher

As a child, I, the Yankee from Jersey,

would visit Betty, my aunt and godmother

in New Orleans, for summers drenched

in mosquitoes and melted popsicles.

Unlike my mother, she let me run

barefoot . . .

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

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Southern Comfort

. . . We create ourselves anew each night,

bathed and night-gowned, sipping root beer floats

on the porch under an orange moon,

counting pink polka-dots on skinny legs,

as now we watch a penny-candy sunset . . .

–excerpt from “Southern Comfort” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Purple Flag Press, 2014). First published in Chaffin.

Stormy

. . . I feel like a kid again,

a Yankee summering

with southern cousins

who wore coonskin caps

and shot BB guns

while suqtting in trees.

My favorite things–

grape popsicles

that dyed my tongue purple . . .

–excerpt from “Stormy” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (virtual artists collective/purple flag, 2015). First published in Plainsongs.

Thumb Tricks

Why, on a winter’s night

in Chicago, should I suddenly

remember my grandmother’s thumb,

how she could curl it back

to practically touch her wrist?

As a child, after tweezing her whiskers

from the throne of her magnanimous lap,

I’d watch her display her magical thumb,

curled like the crescent of the tropical moon . . .

–excerpt from “Thumb Tricks” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (virtual artists collective/purple flag, 2015). First published in The Alembic.

Envy

I often visited them when I was a child,

those families with a cabin on a lake,

amazed that people could have two houses,

one for winter, one for summer, people

who annually moved from one to the other

the way I changed shoes for sandals.

–excerpt from “Envy” in A Light Dusting of Breath by Donna Pucciani (Virtual Artists Collective/Purple Flag, 2015). First published in After Hours.

Pontchartrain Beach

When I was nine

Aunt Betty piled us into the Buick

and drove us unbelted

to the lakefront, where Ferris wheels

and roller coasters overlooked

the levee and stared out to sea.

Stem-heated in pigtails

and pedal-pushers and red Keds,

we rode the high-rise whiplash

and Cindy laughed so hard

she wet her pants and Aline’s eyes

grew big as the Creole moon,

and I went back three times . . .

–excerpt from “Pontchartrain Beach” in To Sip Darjeeling at Dawn by Donna Pucciani (Virtual Artists Collective 20011). First published in Mid-America Poetry Review.

Light Years

Three stars in a row point north

to the Pole. The Dipper scoops up

the darkness of our eyes and pours it

through the branches of a maple

as we stand in the driveway in raveled moccasins,

craning to the night.

When I was a schoolgirl,

the nuns lined us up like little stars.

We trooped on the subway,

across Central Park to the Planetarium

where we swung our saddle shoes

back and forth in upholstered mystery,

gathering the dark in our upturned faces

as the narrator, a disembodied encyclopedia of space,

connected the constellations with white lines.

–excerpt from “Light Years” in Jumping Off the Train by Donna Pucciani (Orchard House Press 2007). First published in Salamander.