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May 27, 2024

Padre Ernesto Speaks

By Donna Pucciani

Padre Ernesto Speaks

The Italian cousins send a video
of Zio Ernesto, who is ninety-six today,
sitting at the old oak table in the refectory,
wishing me well.

I can decipher most of the words
woven from foreign threads
into a wheezy web of vowels
spidering off the trellis of his tongue.

I feel the soft veil of his voice
on my face, its fragile weft
brushing my visage across an ocean,
blown from the monastery on a hill
like a spent dandelion.

One eye is misted
in the whitish cloud of cataract.
The other grasps the world and me
in its watery gaze, an ancient blessing,
the trembling echo of a star.

Article © Donna Pucciani. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-12-26
Image(s) are public domain.
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