Thank you for taking time to read the material posted here. I would be pleased if you could comment, and I promise to comment back. Sincerely, Nancy


Sunday, April 11, 2010


Your bike must have been built
like our Studebaker, and that
was a 1936 –
The car you kept for campaigns
when you ran for Mayor –
plastered with your name.

You and your friends rode
twenty eight miles through
woods and twisting roads
without lights, to camp out
around Saratoga Lake. . .
You and your friends sold
programs at the race track.

You told me – men stood on
stools behind a box and yelled
out odds – before each race.
You told me – you made ten
cents on every program.

It was a forest where you
slept, beneath tall pines in
the darkness of a cool
Saratoga night – near the
old casino where gangsters

It was raining hard, and in
the storm a policeman asked,
“Do you want a place to sleep
for tonight?”
So you loaded up those heavy
bikes and went down to
Broadway. . .

You and your friends were
housed inside a jail, on beds
where criminals stayed.
You and your friends were
safe that night in the middle
of an August storm. . .

In the morning you began to
smell eggs, bacon, and watched
as guards passed by your
sleeping place – you thought
they’d bring you food, too. . .
But when you asked, “Do we
get breakfast here?” your face
with a smile, nudging your

“No,” a policeman said,
“You were only overnight

So they let you out, and
gave you back those old
bikes built like our old
Studebaker – and you tied
them to a pine tree and
began to yell, “Programs,
get your programs here.”

You told me many things -
but I wonder. . .
did grandmother know what
you and your friends were
doing back in 1936?

Nancy Duci Denofio

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