I often wonder how it would have been
if I hadn't reached this age and instead died like my mother at 44.
I kept dreading that 44th year of my life, and holding my breath
as it finally approached . . . but then it passed, like the eye of a storm.
Ah! I was safe from the curse I'd fantasized, and my life would go on!
I could cut another thread from my mother's vest, resigned to the
fact that God had sent me a reprieve.
None of us realize how glued we are
and always will be, to the story of our lives
and the narrative we've memorized and regurgitated
time and time again thinking, like the Ten
Commandments, it was carved forever in stone.
But even stones change over time, as the rains pour
and ocean waves pound hard through the years,
smoothing and changing their surfaces once jagged and rough.
And so it goes with the superstitions of my Sicilian upbringing.
They've lost their hold on me; smoothed over and pounded
by my time-healed wounds.
I am Me, and this life is my own. No one to blame for the roads
I chose to take. My past and its memories are mine alone
and so is my future. Like the marks and spots on my aging skin,
my surface has been altered much since that 44th year.
What's inside this heart and soul though, is a flame still burning,
never changing, since before I was born. It's fueled by the love
of those I cherish, the Gifts of my life and the God who knows my name.
Joanne Cucinello 2015