Tag Archives: family

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.

Goodbyes

We’ve stayed five days in the south,

pressed into mountains

and the impossibly blue Tyrrhenian.

At the Paola station, the family

carry our bags,

lift them onto the train

after kissing both cheeks,

which are suddenly wet.

The cousins line up

along the platform, their faces

a family portrait in the grimy

rectangle of window.

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

Letter from Italy

A full moon spells memories

of Cousin Rosetta’s kitchen,

six hours south, where the family

gathers for pasta and eggplant,

local cheese, miraculous meats.

Crossword puzzles in Italian and English

pepper the night with random words.

Our foreign tongues peck the air

like sparrows hungry for seed . . .

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

River

. . . Once a year we meet

the cousins from another country.

We concoct magical reunions

oceans from reality.

The course of the water eludes

sight and sense, forces us to imagine

what lies beyond.

We know somehow

the future drifts in the river . . .

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

Planetary

My planet passes the sun every year

on the date of my birth at Garfield Memorial,

a hospital in D.C. that no longer exists. But I still exist,

having squirmed my way out of my mother’s legs

into the gloved hands of Dr. Caroline Jackson, I’m told,

after a fifteen-minute interval in which

they discovered we were twins.

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

The Ancestors Speak

We are waiting for you, little one,

rag doll made of our skin, blood, hair,

and cotton thread spun eons ago.

We hang like bats in the eaves,

copulating with time, moving

to the passion of memory

and the rhythm of earthly longing

which we have left behind for you.

–excerpt from “The Ancestors Speak,” first published in Bloodroot and Imagination and Place: An Anthology. Translated into Chinese and published in New Poetry Appreciation.