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


Friday, January 14, 2011



That damn radio
day and night with
church songs -
she sang
with the announcer
blessing Jesus for
everything, she had.

Pray tell,
what did she have?
Same old
formica table,
white with red-chipped

One over sized basin
for a sink -
soiled dishtowels
hanging; drying
draped over one
piece of wood.

A dented white
metal cabinet
half filled with
foggy plastic glasses.

Ceramic cocoa bowls -

Every other day
she held this ice
pick in her aging hand’s
defrosting her old
refrigerator – those
knees had to be raw –
knelt on linoleum
day and night
praying - praying
- half crying, saying -
"Thanks, thanks..."

Her slippers worn
her apron dingy -
she never wanted
anything new - God
in heaven
wouldn't like it,
she had to sacrifice,

I still see the old
black iron pan,
resting on a stove
without a lid;
scolded herself
holding it in place.

Her pantry had a liner -
little frills -
red and white flowers,
cups, saucers
lined perfectly in
space - no one touched
a single item in her

If the old door
creaked, or the
calendar shook which
hung from a nail
on her pantry door -
Grandmother appeared
what it was you took?

A pull string
hung in the middle of
her kitchen – it would
hit her head when she
stood – a string – a
cord connected to her
damn radio
connecting life.

As she aged a hassock
placed at her feet,
lifting them…
her knees too old,
too frail, to hold
her as she prayed.
Those home made
curtains - blew in the

Grandmother ached
inside, ached to reach
her window sill to
stare out a pane of
glass - old and aging

She never - never
wanted to cry, but
I felt her tears,
her aging heart.

She never gave up
old "Zebra Bread."
a toaster -
she flipped two sides
with her curled thumbs,
testing, to see if
her bread was done.

Every morning, into
her cracked ceramic
bowl she tossed,
dried old Italian Bread,
Dandy Crackers,
Ritz, Graham -
Rice Krispies, Corn
Flakes, and
cookies - from her old
antique cookie jar,
a bear – it smiled at
her – remained in the
same spot on top of her
chipped formica table.

I loved her Cookie Jar -
filled with striped
cookies from "Woolworth’s"
Those cookies made
me happy.

On Tuesdays Grandma
climbed the staircase
to the second floor
holding a brown
paper bag -
I followed.
She filled the old
antique cookie jar
with cookies from

Patiently I sat near
her pantry door,
waiting – as she
handed me one -
her gold tooth shinned
as she smiled -
I waited, squirming
in the chair, begging
with my eyes for more.

Now I wonder why
Grandma’s pans hung
from nails in her pantry?
I wonder why her
bread box was nailed shut?

The cookie jar, I
remembered most -
Yellow, green with
eyes that stared from
a funny bear.

But those damn church
songs embarrassed me,
her homemade curtains
blowing in the wind -
echoes of how God
would turn our world

I played beneath her
opened kitchen window -
near Grandmother’s
plants -
her bleeding hearts.

Nancy Duci Denofio
(c) all rights reserved

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