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


Thursday, October 28, 2010


A Last Goodbye

A finger straight
she wipes dust from
a golden plate; white
gowns, white gloves;
men stand tall escorting
all who love.

As she floats by
stained glass windows,
white gowns, pearls and
veils . . . In her eyes –
spider webs of silk,
some a dusty shade of pink.
She watches – a line of
men turn their backs from
the golden rail. Turn away
from a golden plate. . .

Once she talked of
power like a deck of
cards turned, one by one.
And a sliver of light
cuts the fog – recalling
his arms around her
waist and lifting her
to kiss his face.

She glares into the
brightest light, then
glances back at silk
wedding gowns. . .
Her finger straight –
she lightly touches
his broad shoulder,
blows air onto his neck.

Time has come to face
a brighter light –
She said her last goodbye.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all right reserved

Saturday, October 23, 2010



no one came with flowers
no one came with pink
balloons or candy
no one brought pink dresses
to fit a new born –

mother, she knew

no one believed
or wanted to see a child
who entered this world
a little over a pound. . .
medical men told her,
“She won’t survive the

mother, she knew

she knew when two men
she knew only one – but
knew of the other
one man sat to her right
one man to her left.

those visitors did not
bring balloons or candy
or a pink dress for their
new grand daughter –
a baby who would fit into
their palm

a baby with tubes in
temples –
a body to small and
needles too large

both men died before
the birth of her child

her father spoke to her,
her father in law
listened. . .

“Don’t worry she will
survive and make you

medical men entered
her room and mother
medical men warned
her babies this small
do not survive –

mother, she knew –

daddy entered, she smiled.
told him their little girl
would survive
he pulled a chair up to her
bed, held her hand, and

he probably smiled back
he must have warned her
to face the truth
mother, stubborn,
she believed

a few days passed, and
the medical men told her
again –
a week went by, and she
two weeks, and the medical
men stopped talking of
death –

mother peered through
glass at her baby –
lying inside a metal box –
inside with tubes and monitors
with no one to touch a child’s
grey skin.

She watched as a chest
was forced to expand
she prayed to herself –
she waved good bye -
thanking the medical men –
telling them she would be back

every day – to watch a child
who barely opened her eyes

there was no touching,
or cuddles, no wrapping
of tiny fingers around a her own,
no legs kicking, or laughing
when a child yawned, thinking
it was a smile

no one talked about their
little girl –
no one asked about the color
or her hair – her eyes or her
no one asked if she looked
like mother or father . . .
no one talked.

mother, she believed

every day – from summers
end into dead leaves of fall
and onto ice on city walks,
she too walked up a hill
to the hospital to stare
through glass –
her walk home, eyes filled
with tears, she recited an
Irish prayer

every day after work
father walked up the hill
to stare at his child he
could not hold –
laying naked inside a metal
bed with tubes still
attached to her forehead.

he watched as nurses
tapped the soles of her
feet – to keep her awake
to suck on a miniature
bottle – she began to eat

It was the day before
Christmas - a snow
filled sky – when news
arrived – she could come

three months and ten
days after her birth
she weighed five pounds

nurses wrapped her
in tiny booties
a white undershirt
a small pink dress
snuggled up inside pink

with open arms mother
held her little girl
peered into her open eyes
pinched her little hands
and feet

mother, she knew

on Christmas day inside a
neighbor’s car they brought
their little girl home

she looked at my father
and said, “I told you so,
she would survive.”

and, there beneath a
Christmas tree – I laid
inside a red wagon –
my older brother next to me
a red bow tied around my
Christmas and I finally
made it home.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Elementary School 1958

There she was, entering the classroom
her head barely clearing the doorway.
Over six feet tall with feet we called
boats - as she flopped one after another
beneath her desk.

Her shoulders wide like a man,
her fingers so long, as a witch on purpose
scratching chalk on a chalkboard.

Miss Dawson was wearing a flowered
dress on this memorable morning,
me, in the fourth grade, me who she told
to meet her in the cloakroom.

Well, a trip to the cloakroom, alone, would
mean we were scolded for something
we did during class, but the teacher
barely said a word as she whispered – I
knew I did nothing to be reprimanded.

But this trip to the cloakroom
in the fourth grade - was to tell me
I wasn't good enough for her choir.

Can you imagine all those children
in the classroom – waiting – staring
toward the door to the cloakroom,
can you imagine me with tears in my eyes –
a sad face, my head down, being afraid to
glance up, walking slowly back to my desk.

When I finally reached my desk, and sat,
a tear fell onto my cheek and I heard
children chanting, “She can’t sing…”

1958 - I started our school talent show.
Our principal was Miss Hagarson - she told me,
“When you left elementary school they never
had another talent show.”
Guess I had talent collecting all the children
with talent…

Joey played the drums, and Cass sang…
Keith helped with the curtains and directing,
and the girls who could sing, carried on
like the other Nancy down the street, and Patty,
Donna, and Aggie.

I danced, and talked as if I were the
first commentator on stage, introducing
everyone and telling everyone how talented our
school was. When it came to the piano,
I even had the music teacher helping me, she knew
I wasn’t going to sing.

The big mouth kids, the trouble makers, I put
them to work too, everyone was in the show, not
one child left out…

You see – learning is a giant step – believing in
yourself is even bigger – so I turned it around
singing wasn’t the end of the world – it was the
beginning of mine.

Nancy Duci Denofio
(Note - this is a section of a memoir
which I changed to fit into a poetic memoir
for easy reading.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



Life comes to a close
at night as a shovel digs
deep into the earth –
lifting dirt to make a
place for you to live.

At night - she hears a
shovel as sound surrounds
her – her body shivers,
and sweat pours from skin –
moistens her night gown -

It is clear now – as if night
were day – a hole - deep
a man jumps into its’ emptiness
another man tosses a different
shovel which levels the earth.

The land, flat – sides high -
bats fly from tree to tree -
ghosts surround men
digging a space for another

She glances toward a bench
near the oldest part of the
graveyard. And you sit with
your legs crossed, and boots
up to your knees – your hair
has grown - your nails
painted perfectly.

Are you wondering who is
next - or do you know?

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights resevered

Thursday, October 7, 2010



little girl legs
patent leather shoes
walk - she dances on
her way to school

she gazes up
it shines like a
giant yellow balloon
on top of red brick

little girls
bewildered by its'
size, knows a sound
will cause her fear -
her feet, no longer
dance - instead
now dragging feet
across cement

a large yellow
balloon warns of
war - of bombs,
death - no family
sirens sound - hurts
small ear - or does
it hurt a mind calling
out in the middle of a
day -

together walk
little girls and boys
against a wall,
down two flights
of stairs to a
basement floor

neat - arms at their
side - straight -
no one laughs,
no one cries

small bodies sit
facing a putrid wall
of green - indian
style; girls bare
legs kiss gray cement
floors - heads touch
cold walls

hot air - inhale,
exhale, inhale on
bare flesh - eyes
closed - arms - hands
wrapped around a child's

all clear - a sound
erases fear as smiles
appear, pushing -
shoving - joking -

until another day
unwrapped arms,
uncrossed legs -
hot air no longer
on little girl legs

Nancy Duci Denofio

Wednesday, October 6, 2010



Universe of the mind,
and body
a seed emerges and
wild roots grab hold of

a single child,
a shooting star
trapped in space -
continuous night.

One offspring shoots a
ray of light, dangling
principles - their
dance - multiplying
filling empty voids
where dark lingers -

a brighter light where
silent armies form,
gather strength beyond
a child now pushed, probed
by a single star.

Is this home or a
wild seed wanting to
be free?

No need to conform
no painful words
or trapped by a
darker day in light -

push – push - pain
but no labor

A single seed eats away
at a brain – grows
into webs of their own
ready to explode – as
the mind degenerates.

Train your child well -
seeds grow wild
in a wilderness

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Monday, October 4, 2010



does she stare all day
through a cubby hole –
her arm bent, her hand
holding her head beneath
her chin?

She talks on a phone –
tells no one her name –
wearing a shirt that sparkles
as if she were dressed to
go dancing – her lipstick
thick – her eyes painted

She holds a white pen
in her hand – never writes.
She asks questions – and
has no clue about what’s
happening in the world.

She pretends to be sexy,
playing on the phone as
if she were all grown up,
as I hear her whisper

unlike the person she
talks to on the phone –
probably in three times
her age -

Nancy Duci Denofio

Friday, October 1, 2010


The Night Before

A glorious red balloon
it's how he told me
my mouth felt.

The night before he left
he stared at flesh -
no words exchanged
he wanted me to think
kissing was good, and
took his fingers, closed
my eyelids, told me
“It was alright to breathe.”

Wondered if men gave
out candy here?

The wrong he did was so...
casual for him -
as if he took apart another
puzzle - so singular -

People say birds are exotic.
He compared me to a bird.
Wondered if I could have flown?

A bird twists silently out from
its nest of twigs.

My body settled into summer.
Birds gathered at a feeder.
I feel stillness all so ordinary,
suddenly you are naked -
thinking, the entire
world sees you pass

It is morning and I am again,

I think of how birds
flew - out there, in the open.

Nancy Duci Denofio
From What Brought You Here? published 2010
by Dystenium http://nancyducidenofio.limitededitions.com
page 16 - 17