Poetry Pick

After reading poem of same title by Joseph Farina

Venera Fazio

At five years of age my mother's hands kept pace with her
sharecropper parents as they gathered sacks of almonds,
hazelnuts, and winter olives. She knew their harvest was
divided between them and the landowner, the Duke.

My mother's hands remembered the poverty of her seven
siblings as she tightly wound parcels in strips of faded
bedsheets to ensure a safe postal journey to Sicily.

Her hands stirred heavy pots of pasta large enough to feed
two families, the five of us and the immigrant relatives
we sheltered.

My mother's hands smelled of pickle factory brine where
she worked after my father's depression kept him home.

My mother's hands paid a week's factory salary for my
chiffon graduation dress, the colour of the cobalt
Mediterranean she left behind.

My mother's hands gently caressed the cheeks of her

My mother's hands halted the dialysis machine declaring,
my time has come.

My mother's hands rested on the hospital bed sheet. Her
body radiated white light of eternal grace.

From Tower Poetry, Vol.60 #2 Winter Edition 2011-2012


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