Thursday, January 28, 2010

All Things Together


Quiet now, Heart of My Soul . . .
listen to the music of the molecules
rising . . . falling
like my chest,
deep in silent sleep

This body mine
beginning its descent
following the curve of time
across the bridge
remembering, recalling
so much now . . . the little things
the tremulous moments of ecstasy
the broken wings of disappointment

Look softly, my mind’s eye
and do not judge too harshly
but instead . . . remember
all the loving
and the gifts you poured
the ones you rocked to sleep and
those whose fears you calmed.

Refresh your soul
with recollection of the good you tried to do
that good, which lives in fog and mist,
while all mistakes stand, waving flags
atop the hill.

Oh, be kind to your little soul
one of many, many of the One
You were carved with God’s own hand
and he will close his palm around you
with love . . . and take you home one day.
Only then will you understand
all things together . . . all things are One.

Joanne Cucinello 2007

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Fence


Our city street is all lit up tonight.
Fireworks are booming in the sky.
Tiny chips of broken glass
sparkle in the sidewalks
with each burst of streaming light.
Neighbors celebrate with loud voices
and sit on stoops laughing and waving
across to one another.
Most live in five story railroad flats
jammed with over flowing children
and one tiny bathroom.

Tonight, no breezes flow.
The old women cool themselves
with paper fans and watch the men
turn into kids, lighting firecrackers
drinking beers.

It's a hot, hot summer night in 1951
and I am eight . . .
the 4th of July and there is no stopping it.

A black picket fence curves around the stoop
where a little boy climbs up to see
Uncle Charlie's bright red rocket
bursting high up in the air
filling the sky with streaming glitter.

His small body slips instead onto a long
black spiral that stands erect on the iron fence
guarding the building from thieves.
Everyone's talking, eating . . . laughing
No one takes notice of the little boy
hanging, speechless, breathless . . . suspended
on the picket fence
open-mouthed, grey faced . . . silent.

My little sister sees him!
"Help!!" she cries.
"Look at him! Look at David!

Screams leap high above the laughter.
His mother comes. She's running with the baby
on her hip . . . "David! Oh, God! David . . . Don't move!"
"Call an ambulance . . . Somebody please!"
Silence intervenes and whispers all around
"Don't lift him."
Blood is trickling down on the pavement.
"Don't lift him!"

His mother is pasty white.
Her eyes latched onto David's pain
"I'm here. Don't be afraid."
She strokes his head . . . "Don't move"
The silence . . . hands cover mouths
The fence . . . now a black iron spiral stuck in his lung
The laughter . . . nowhere, only sobs
Sirens . . . flashing down the street.
and Uncle Charlie's bright red rocket has landed
burnt and black
while the boy and his mother wait
for the arms that will lift him
the white coats ready to take him away
from one city street on the 4th of July.

Joanne Cucinello 2009

Note: The child survived after weeks in the hospital
and no one ever tried to climb that fence again.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Little Nest


I had watched those squirrels
last spring
leaping across from tree to tree
twigs and sprigs
of new green leaves tugged along
between their teeth
amazing furry tailed acrobats searching
for the perfect spot
to build their nest secure and safe

high up and away they scampered
back and forth, up and down
tireless, energetic and often comical with
their squirrel chatter

Hurry, hurry, no time to waste
babies coming
make it strong, tie it tight, guard it from
the winter winds
bound to come and test it

Way up high where two trees met and mingled
they found their spot
fragile looking branches tied together or so it seemed
with a twisted creeping vine
turned benevolent and useful for such occasions

I wondered as I looked~ why not closer to the
big strong trunk
or the sturdy bough they pounced on
through the day?
but there it stays defying winter winds
and driven snows
this little nest held high and tangled fast
and smiled on by the winter Moon.

Joanne Cucinello 2010

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