Nonno’s portrait hangs above the sideboard.
No likeness of his helpmate is on display.
He presided at meals wearing his fedora.
You would play at swiping it off his head.
Before his death, you rolled the dough thin,
assured it would not break. You stood at table,
presented the pasta on his plate with care,
grated his preferred amount of Parmesan.
Today we sit in the shade along the house,
admire your roses, remember the fig tree.
You would coax him with the luscious fruit.
Later in a corner of the kitchen, darning socks,
you refuse to mention him, defying fate,
like Dido, your face Marpesian stone.
When she is not at Eastern Kentucky University, helping students write and produce plays, do stand-up, and edit their lit journal, Gaby Bedetti hikes, takes photos, and sings in a choir. Though Ringling is gone, she has stepped into Cirque du Soleil’s cabinet of curiosities and joined their Corteo parade. Recent poems have appeared in Frogpond, Asses of Parnassus, Italian Americana, and Still: The Journal. At present, she is co-translating Henri Meschonnic’s poems from the French.