Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sunday Poem

Giovanni Starnino 1940-2011


There were days when I'd catch him
alone at the kitchen table, lost
inside some regret, his head
cradled in his hands like the part

of his life that was over, that had
stopped some time ago. A cigarette
smoldered beside him, its smoke
rising from the ashtray like a long

held breath, slowly released.
I would like to say that my mother
went to him then, leaned over to
whisper his name in his ear,

and he jerked up, a little startled,
staring around the room in unrecognition,
having been called back too quickly
into his life, and looked up

at my mother who smiled, running
her long fingers through his hair,
slipping them into its dark glistening.
I would like this finally to be

a story of love. But the truth is
my father was an unhappy man,
his head was heavy, and sometimes
he rested it in his hands.
From The New World (1997) by Carmine Starnino

1 comment:

Susan Glickman said...

Lovely true poem, Carmine. So sorry to hear you've lost your father.