Arranged along kitchen window sill;
Justin’s yellow toy dump truck, small
Swedish fish lure, WWI clay soldier,
antique white porcelain door knob,
marbles, pebbles, Cape Cod seashells.
Ma liked looking at such things
while watching Ba out back on
the lawn chair playing with Chico.
On the same chair I see Ba seated
without Chico staring intently;
iridescent hummingbirds or
a million memories of Ma?
Nonna’s Gift of Gratitude
Many historic building were destroyed,
two thousand Chietini murdered,
yet today few civic buildings gracing
town centers are WWII memorials;
in Torrevecchia Teatino bullet holes still
pock la chiesa di San Pasquale Bajlon
where ancestors worshipped.
Shielded behind glass in blue niche,
twelve illuminated stars crown serene
Madonna clothed pale blue & white;
beneath pink roses at Madonna’s feet,
simple hand lettered words read––
Bettina Tacconelli: per una
grazia ricesuto dall’America.
Torrevecchia Teatino? Unlikely I’ll visit.
Who would remember grandparents, uncle,
aunts, my father––lost twelve decades ago?
Two vacation photos Joe & Liz gave me,
I see la chiesa di San Pasquale Bajlon
where ancestors worshipped; I feel
San Pasquale’s bell tower reverberate;
hear the future bell tolling––Nonno’s bell
bought with money sent from America;
barely glimpse the jubilant little boy
pulling the swaying bell’s rope––my father’s
small feet rising, falling, rising in air.
Artist and poet, Al Tacconelli’s work appears in journals and anthologies. Passaic County Community College, Hofstra University, Calandra Institute, Free Library of Philadelphia, Moonstone Poetry Series, Manayunk Art Center, Cornelia Street Cafe, Giovanni’s Room, and Churchill’s are venues at which Al has presented. The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Contest awarded Al with Honorable Mention and Editor’s Choice. Bordighera Press (2014) published Perhaps Fly, the first collection of poems. Several of Al’s art works are represented in the permanent collection of Passaic County Community College.