Italian American Immigrant Story

The Blues

Mom said she cried and cried the day her baby brother died

The day he died she felt cold as stone

The day he died the stove in their railroad flat didn't light

In Hell's Kitchen gangs called her Guinea Girl

Mom didn't yell Mick, couldn't say that

Mom said she'd go to hell if she didn't pray

She said Nonna wore garlic to keep the devil away

Mom said Nonna made her stir and stir the thin soup

She said the gangs on 48th screamed go to hell!

Mom threw hot potatoes at their heads

She heard them yell Dago Girl you smell

Mom said she wore the same smock every day

She washed under her arms at the kitchen sink

She rubbed her skin raw with old lemon skins

Mom kissed Nonni to death when he gave her fresh rolls

She felt warm beside Nonni delivering ice

She danced and clapped the day he gave her a china doll

She said the doll cracked to pieces when she dropped it on the tiles

She moved the china scraps around to play pretend

Mom forgot the cold, she didn't cry, she saw white daisies on a hillside

the poem to begin my new book out from FinishingLine Press

the book is titled The Dark Inside my Hooded Coat

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© 2017 by Mare Leonard. Created with enthusiasm by chillMedia NORTH