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By Frank Modica

I am grapevines and olive trees

heavy-laden with broken promises,

working for another man’s harvest

in the hot Sicilian sun,

I am basil leaves torn in ragged strips,

scattered over meager bowls of pasta.

I am weary farmers and fishermen

toiling in the oppressive summer heat,

clutching their tools with work-worried hands.

I am a shoebox stashed in a closet;

Francesco’s Illinois Central pocket watch,

Calogero’s creased Italian passport.


Archive, The River

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