To Our Italian Grandmothers

Let us cry for you, Nonna,
and for the memories written
in lines across your time-worn hands.

Let us weep for the generations
lined up in faded photographs
along the wall,
whose forgotten names
you murmured in your sleep.

You left your kitchen spotless, Bella.
Apron hung on the back of a chair,
curtains swaying in the window
you opened in the hope
of getting some air.

Ten thousand hours spent making orecchiette,
and not one soul to stand beside you
underneath this burning sun.

Hear us cry, Maestra.
Hear us cry.

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