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


Tuesday, September 28, 2010



she is happy, cheerful
clothes of bright orange
age on her face – tanned

she worried about space
where she and her daughter
would sit

laying blue towels
advertising the Yankees
on beach chairs at the pool

satisfied her - as she
lifted her daughter’s arms
to cross on her lap

a mother claps – smiles
rewarding herself – a
job well done

watched her walk up
a hill empty handed -
knew her hands soon

would fill with pain and
love – as she wipes a
mouth of a grown

child – who doesn’t
know her name – as
she carries around

a heart of glass as
it breaks into pieces
– of love

but she continues
day after day to care
for her grown child

wipes her mouth –
she wants her to live

as her age show
rapidly with each
sunset of her life.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Saturday, September 25, 2010



On cement steps
leading to our
library -
I closed my eyes -
a face looked
back at me

never knew you
or had you
known me?
Are you dead?

Talking to me
in photographs
deep inside
my mind -

why did I study
your face -
open - close
open - close
these eyes
seeing the same
face -
staring at me.

Your dark hair
short but below
your ears, dark
eyes and pure
white skin.

Your smile not
even slight, not
even a frown -
as if frozen in
time - who are

Were you sending
me a message
or perhaps claimed
the wrong living
soul - you kept
open - close
open - close,
no way to take
your face away.

Not sleeping
I saw people
walking by me
on the Library
steps. A
public place. . .

Where I am -
I never
saw you here
before -
open - close
open - close.
As if a picture
from the inside
of a book was
projected through
a memory of who?
Yes, I love
history too -
and I am sitting
on the library

Will you haunt
me now - or
keep coming
back - perhaps
tonight in a

You want more
from me then
a glance into
the past, I
can feel it.

Are you alone
in heaven?

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Thursday, September 23, 2010



See - In this oven,
a love - child.
embers scar,
Mama’s heartbreak
PaPa’s dish rag

See - a knife
cuts the cord,
slowly kills a child

See - Mama’s a
milking machine -
and Papa’s
knuckle’s raw

Anger built
these walls,
bruised blood
traveling through
a Child’s heart

See, carved on
skin, red embers -
time after time
a twisted mind -

his children live on
yesterdays bread
inside flea
infested shack,
no shirt
on their back

See - Mama
lost a child,
who sucked its’

See – Mama
told us no one
asked to abort
a parent -

PaPa said,
“Sweep yesterdays
dirt, across the floor”

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved


Mrs. Moan

Her wooden porch had
a strange creak as her
feet moved up and down
moving a rocker back
and forth with bare feet.

Back and forth, dressed
in white – she stared at
children in the neighborhood -
she seemed to smile
in a strange way – children
told - not to play near her
home, to keep away from
Mrs. Moan. . .

Soiled curtains blew free
from her open windows -
no screens to keep
insects out.

In daylight a mustard
color light without a
shade held giant spider
webs where spiders
weaved silver threads –
stretched high above a
child’s head.

Children in our
feared this woman,
Mrs. Moan -
who lived alone – told
her heart and mind
turned to stone.

When she smiled
she snickered -
in a sneaky way
yelling out to those
of us who passed her
porch -

"Won't you come and play?"

Death took her sunshine,
pride and joy
some fifty years ago – and
now – rocking back and
forth, she would hold
a bowl on her lap -
telling all the children
playing in the street -

"I have some popcorn for
you to eat."

And every day more
bowls were scattered on
her porch, each filled
with more popcorn –
soon covering her porch.

The little girls of the
neighborhood became
her memory of what use
to be – her daughter met
her death when crossing
the street, before the
seventh grade.

We took her flowers as
she smiled, we watched
her rock – back and forth,
and hid along the side of
her porch, listened as she
talked - but no one was

Ed Burns and his
record “Kookie” – I recall
her calling out to me –

“Kookie, Kookie, won’t
you come and play?

While mom she stood
at attention calling out
my name, “Cookie you
come home right this
minute..” she heard
Mrs. Moan’s song –
as it faded in the distance.

Mrs. Moan kept
singing – asking
me to play – until one
day she left her porch -
her rocker disappeared,
her popcorn and all her
bowls, and spider webs
dancing above her head
were swept away. . .

I knew that day, as I
walked past her home
Mrs. Moan
would never be on
her porch – calling out
my name – already I
missed Mrs. Moan.

I learned she found a
better home. . .

I prayed that night she
wouldn’t be alone.
The next day, I entered
the seventh grade.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Sunday, September 19, 2010



foolish - a woman
lives for diamonds;
how simple to live
with only what one
needs -

how prevalent she
wears high heels -
to wrap herself in fur
to flash gloved hands
to reach to touch a
stranger helping her
to stand...

how remote to see a
smile on her face
how exclusive where
she lays her head
and never prays -
how simple to learn
to smile at a stranger
who smiles back.

When water twists -
turns to find a path
between a woman -
between her life or
our life - there is
no manner, no authority -

her furs - diamonds
white gloves - heals
have all sunk deep into
mud -

no one cares about her
unfrequented mansion
or her individualism
her taste in furniture
or how many windows
face the pacific -

as rock and mud slides
down a mountain -
her clothing disappears
as her pearls lay deeper
into earth then the oyster
where it was born -
into beds of mud -

no one takes her hand -
escorts her from the
back of an open bed truck
where shoulders touch -
strangers who no longer
smile -

rocks, stones -
sticks and mud
have robbed her blind.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Friday, September 17, 2010



don’t tell me –
don’t – I know
you’re nervous
like a cat
touching your
tie - as cats
lick their paws
you – lick your
ready to tell me

don’t tell me
don’t – I know
you haven’t a
smile on your
face or will
you look my
way – I disturbed
your routine
for the morning –
asked your for a
few things – a few
dollars for a
dunkin donut
medium coffee
black with a
little ice -
asked for a few
dollars for a
possible half
sandwich at
just meats – or
half a salad on
the side

your routine of
a meal crossing
broadway – to a
fancy place because
you work nearby
is part of your day

don’t tell me –
don’t – I know
you will glare at
me with dark
eyes – watch my
hands as I hold
my dunkin donut
coffee – black
with a little ice –
so I don’t have
to wait to drink –
thinking I will
spill it on your
car seat

the doors open
at seven and you
kept twisting and
turning all night –
kept me awake –
I tried to lock
knees – touch
your skin – feel
your head because
you were in pain –
you said

you kept me awake
and I worried like
the mother cat –
who cleans the
kitten’s fur –
like the one who
stays home and
stares out a
window –
digging for a
dollar in dimes

don’t tell me
don’t – I know
my heart was placed
in the center
of my chest –
it beats – it cares
it gives – it sings
out – it gives –
it gives – but you
sit there in your
car – taking a
right hand turn
and a quick left
glancing at the
hands holding a
full cup of coffee

you tell me –
to be careful –
not enough cash
for a taxi ride
home – not
enough time for
a kiss goodbye

I turned
I wanted to wave
goodbye –
you never looked

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Sucking Thumbs

A cloth wrapped a thumb
in pepper,
Mama said,
"Sucking thumbs not
suitable for a lady."

But, she let a
boogie man
into my room,
windows not locked
on a Friday when
Joe Lewis was
fighting in the parlor

Reckon a boogie man
took note how poor
we were, it's nineteen -
fifty two -

Wonder if he knew
Papa had to borrow
a rich man's car to
deliver his dead son
to his grave?

Nancy Duci Denofio

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


What Brought You Here?

US Pennies tossed into dry fountains
no choice between soup or potatoes
no chance to catch polio.
The unknown enemy, wears torn
uniforms soaked in another color.

You dance to music as if survival were
a passing tune, never sharing stories,
crouched down, scrubbing floors -
a toothbrush. . .and what brought
you here Sergeant?

Smoke a cigarette at twelve, two
drags and laughing over Miss Monroe’s
chest, so tomorrow we shall cry over
death, run out of smokes and write
a letter home to Mama.

We still dance in silence
I’ll change the music at
the rec hall,
a different kind of harmony.

Nancy Duci Denofio
from "What Brought You Here?" published 2010
by Dystenium page 1