Niches and Stones


Niches and stones
names and dates
marking unknowns
to passers by

Wait long enough
and no one living
remembers your name
or brings you flowers

No one has brought flowers
since the nineteen sixties
erased from living memory
just a name on a stone

Do you think
they talk to their neighbors
on warm summer nights
bringing out unseen lawn chairs?

Who’s that coming down the row?
It can’t be anyone we know
or anyone who knows us;
they all departed long ago.

“Here you are grandma!”
Applause applause
from ghostly neighbors;
Laura’s got company!

He was in town and thought of me!
He was always such a sweet boy
He planted some geraniums
I’ll be in flowers all summer!

I don’t think I’ll pass
this way again Nonna
Next time we’ll have dinner
“I’ll make your favorite gnocchi!”



for my grandmother, Laura DeVito Scarangella, the wife of an ice man, who took my mother off of the streets in 1941 when she had no where else to go and shared what little she had.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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1 Response to Niches and Stones

  1. beetleypete says:

    I always worry about untended graves, and their long-forgotten residents. Your piece is a nice way of solving that dilemma, and a lovely tribute to your grandmother at the same time.
    Best wishes, Pete.


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