Tuesday, August 29, 2017


This poem was written in response to a Poets & Writers 7/21/17 prompt to look at a photograph from a recent trip and write a poem that "explores the distance between your current self and the photograph, and between an image and a feeling or memory." I visited my birthplace town and home for twenty-one years, Elgin, Illinois in May of this year, taking photos of my first home and my dad's sister's home.  It is dedicated to Linda Sjurset Esposito, who lived across the street from me in Elgin, Illinois.  Her birthday is today 8/29/17.

My first Fonte-Dice home on Melrose, Ave., Elgin, Illnois.  It is a Sears & Roebuck Craftsman house.

Sjurset-Fonte home on Melrose Ave., Elgin, Illinois

My home on Melrose Avenue,
almost two thousand miles away
and sixty-two years ago--

I remember mom, 
standing over the porcelain kitchen sink, 
straining red berry juice through white cheesecloth.

She is to busy too play with me,
so I wander outside,
dragging my Buster Brown shoes
over the newly-mowed grass,
up to the border 
of the street-forbidden-to-cross.

I gaze longingly
at the black asphalt
and spy my cousin sitting on the steps 
in front of her house.
We wave at each other, 
our late summer smiles
bridging the boundaries
between us.

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