Grandmother catches rain in
a rain barrel near the rows of dirt.
I play with the old dented faucet
attached to the barrel – when eyes
are not staring – from the upstairs
I use my plastic plates and cups
given to me by a girl down the street,
at one of my birthdays - cups are red
and white – I fill them with water from
the rusty old barrel – to serve to my
Mother, she complains about our
clothes line stuck in the center of my
play area. A long rope attached to our
house stretched across our lawn and
fastened to the shed near the alley
ways. . .
A few years ago my father’s father
chopped down a cherry tree, and an
apple tree, but we still have the pear
tree – growing fuzzy pears.
Our sidewalk - longer because of a
corner lot, but Grandmother she sweats
when trimming the shrubs, I sometimes
stare, and watch – her arms opening
and closing these big sissors. I watch
to make sure she doesn’t run all the red
beans, I mix into mud near the barrel
for mud pies. Dolls, they love mud pies.
I taught myself how to remove the beans
without being stuck by the thorns.
Mother - on the front porch leaning over
our yellow railing, it’s sometimes loose,
she leans to snip a few seven sisters,
for the kitchen table – but she hates the
roses, complains she is allergic.
When mother’s eyes meet mine, we don’t
have to talk. I think everyone stares in
my neighborhood including my mother,
and her friends, especially -
our grocery man.
Mother’s resting, sitting on the metal
milk box, and inside I hide my paper dolls.
Next to mother an opened bottle of Schlitz
and a pack of Chesterfields.
When mother sucks smoke in she holds it
inside for a long time, exiting her nose,
mouth, then it circles her head
raises up and up to reach the seven sisters.
Mother was one of seven sisters.
(Note: This is a portion of a long poem.)
Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved