Strega Nona

Slava Groshev
She was a strega:
I saw her making magic
in the kitchen, giving life to a tired dough
and to shy soap bubbles in the verandah.
I was 6 but I still can see her calloused hands
and long hair in a bun.
She didn’t have much when she arrived here:
just a suitcase crammed with memories:
she would never forget the roads to Paola
and the sunsets in Calabria.
I liked when she opened that magical box
and showed me my past with so much pride.
Those pictures are still the fire in my hands.
Somebody told me she married a man
who loved her deeply. He had deep green eyes.
When he died, she wore black forever
and let her hair grow.
She was already an old woman in her 30’s.
I remember she hid her wedding photo
in the closet. Whenever you opened it,
you would see her smiling.
Maybe it was there to remind her of whom
she once was.
When I think of her, I feel
I was loved.
I could never be as strong as she was
or have half of her brute tenderness.
When I am gone, I hope she can be
waiting for me with her ever open arms.
Grandma was a strega.
She bewitched me with her language
and light.
When I look back, I saw a young girl
running through the fields of yesterday
and I don’t mind telling you all
I am crying as I write this poem.
“Io ti voglio bene”
“Anche io amore mio, anche io”
Karla Bardanza
 This poem is a tribute to my grandmother.

Copyright©Karla Bardanza 2012

1 comment:

  1. Karla, what a beautiful tribute! This is one of the most beautiful poems of yours to date! Love my friend.