We left our home in novecento
left padrone and prominenti
‘Ndrangheta and the priests
the almond trees for golden streets.
I wasn’t born with dreams like yours;
tending trees I would never own;
almond butter, a crust of bread
before an empty hungry bed
I dreamed of eating my share
earning the seeds for the future
to be planted and tended with care
so that you could dream such things
I never knew could be dreamed
writing poetry, words to make a man
remember the trees
Is this not what all men want?
A small house, happy children
a comfortable old age?
Our ancient house is empty.
And now they come to Lampedusa
to Palermo, leaving their country
in rickety boats to cross the sea
the almond trees still standing there;
Saying goodbye, perhaps for good
for our ancient house, happy children
for the dream.
An excerpt from “Sun City – Poetry of an Aging Man”