Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Birds Are Back

The Birds Are Back

the birds are back
as common as a notch
cupcake mountain
stumps for paper
man made lake
vanilla frosting
a spotted sky

the birds are back
flying near a glass stained
wall where seeds sink
into a copper tray
pansies float in air
empty desks
hollow chairs

the birds are back,
do they remember me?

Thursday, July 22, 2010



she slouches on a leather couch
blond hair falling onto a silk blouse
a lady stares from behind a wall of
glass... nods hello.

she sinks into her own safe world
free here, no one cares about her
bleached blond hair, lipstick the
color of a tangerine...

long slender legs - cross, spikes fall
off exposing painted toenails.
American Health opened on her
lap, and a pack of Salem’s - to her left

each Friday at nine she waits, for him...
slept together beneath a full moon,
made violent love,
she called his name, reaching a climax.
He never knew.

She set the table for breakfast,
wanting to be his bride.

The woman protected by glass watches
a Tangerine Lady as she snaps her gum.
The office door opens, she stands - knowing
her secret loves watches as she bends,
her secret lover watches as she bebds a
little further, her skirt tight - now
lifting the Salem’s which fell to the

Tangerine Lady smiled, passing the
woman no longer protected by glass.

"Trash." The Tangerine Lady states.
handing the girl once protected by a
shield of glas, takes the wad of gum -
heaves it into a circular can.

When she leaves, the girl behind the
glass reminds her of Monday -
Tangerine Lady smiles - and whispers,
"He already bought the tickets. . ."

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



no more butter,
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise,
cream or real

might stimulate
brain cells,
cause the heart
to pump faster –
even wake you up -

bottled water
diet bread, diet soda
with no caffeine,
dry toast or
sugar free jelly...

all of this only if a
paper gives
out coupons or
a discount at the
all you can eat
buffet -
a discount
at a discount
store, or
a DVD you don’t
know how to play –

advice – it’s on
the television all
day – so we hear
this is that – one day
and it changes back
another to another
way. . .

our cupboards are
stark naked – they
aren’t the ones
mixed up -
they knew when a
letter arrived
from the government,
not increasing Medicare
they say. . .

can't even buy
a pill or Tylenol
from the shelf -
age - never knew
what it was
all about beyond
graying of ones' hair,
mixing up

but the government
stays the same

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Saturday, July 17, 2010


State Park

set the scene

your striking
good looks
helped, but
you were too
fast, hard to

we made up
words to sing
you strummed
your guitar -
I shook a
blanket free
of bugs.

all you really
wanted -

I began to
create my best
song -
you wanted bare
legs on the
blanket -

beneath the
evergreen -
red sharp needles
fell -
pins and needles
pinching skin.

the guitar
on the grass -
skin scratched,
bruised in the park.

(Published Eye on Saratoga)

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



Some strange odor
of fish clung
to my clothes, and
Boston humidity
drenched my hair –

at five – seven summers
in a row – fingers clenched
around a wire fence –
waiting for dead fish to
fly – flopping onto a deck
where men used shovels
to load big trucks.

The big drop – a full
day of vacation at the
Boston Fish Market –
standing next to my
brother to watch dead
fish fly out of giant boats –
I never stopped pinching
my nose.

Why were grown ups
smiling and laughing?
Why were they taking
in that smell of dead

This trip – from the shore
had to be on the things
to do – list.

One August before
our trip - Mama
skinned me like the
fish at the market -
cutting off long
locks of hair –

In August – at the
shore, Mama said,
“It’s too hot for
this long hair,”
snip – snip – snip.

Well – if there was
such a thing as
“Mommy Dearest”
back then, while I
heard the snipping
of my hair – saw long
curls fall onto my Aunt’s
floor - I would
have sworn it was
Mama playing that part!

You see, she believed
her sister, believed
children carried
bugs to school –
but other girls didn’t
have to chop their hair.

It had to be that awful
smell of fish – she
probably couldn’t stand
the smell of dead fish –
but never told me. . .

I pranced around
the shore looking like
a tomboy that summer,
and I covered my eyes,
because my bangs weren’t
shielding me from the
sun – and I pinched my
nose, out of habit!
And felt bad without

The next summer,
I grew taller, hair
longer – and I knew
I still hated fish –
I still hated short
hair – and I knew I
never did have bugs,
since my hair wasn’t

Been to bean
town over and over,
but never looked
for dead fish fly
from a giant boat,
and never smelled
fish in a child’s hair –
nor did I ever chop
my daughter’s hair
in August.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Monday, July 12, 2010



Seven - begged for malted milk balls,
twenty round covered chocolate
candies, just a dime.

Ten - it was triple chocolate -
three layers in different colors.

Fifteen, a Winston behind a
pizza store; four girls drag
on the same cigarette.

High school, I began to
know what love was all
about – and in college I
learned to lick salt and lemon,
doused by shots of tequila,
and jumping jacks on dormitory
beds. . .

Remember stars in the field,
thumbs upturned to catch
a ride - our professor in his red corvette.
My dormitory walls plastered
in poetry, torn to shreds
the night my thumb was caught,
blood on white cotton.

Three men tossed cats from a
third floor to see if they landed
on their feet - hated those men.

Gave in to freedom,
left home and craved another man, met
superman in N.Y.C.,
waved goodbye from the 14th floor…

Eighteen, cameras, lights -
autographs is all I craved;
smiles from all who came, to watch,
and never knew why they asked me to

And then I said, "I do."
Diapers, bottles, dust, and dishes
occupied my time.

Now I craved conversation
I talked to our infantn and our dog,
but I craved more -

Still, I could dance.
Collected little feet
to show them how to leap.
It was dancing, I craved again.

One day, my vision
it wasn't fair. but words were
always there.

Words crept out of me, words
told me to say it - all of it,
words told me to tell others how
to survive.

I had a lifetime in back of me
and another poking at me
in the front – my inner voice.

Yesterday - malted milk balls,
triple chocolate candy bars;
and I can’t forget the night my mother
chased me with a broom.

Oh, I began to create -
on crisp white paper filled with
brilliant ink - memories of life,
and in my mind - in living color.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Mama’s Bed

left alone on Mama’s bed –
in Mama’s room -
Grandmother’s feet
black tied
danced above my head -

behind the old wooden
door – I thought a bear hid
but learned it was a fur
coat handing from a metal
hook -

talked to God – on Mama’s
bed – tears moistened
clean white sheets –
pushing a feather pillow
far from me – it was God
I needed -

asked him – screamed in
silence from the inside out –
asked him – please God
take me first.
I can leave earths
beauty – don’t take those
who love me please -

seven, I knew enough
I could wait - stretched
my arms grabbing at a pillow
sobbing into silence.

her red velvet - an
old worn couch - her
knitting needles
clanging - glasses falling
from her Irish face - now

red blood, poured
out of her mouth - down
her neck - I wiped it away -

thirty days her will
kept her alive -
God -
you never listened
to me
on Mama’s bed -
I pleaded - sobbed,
asking to go first.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Friday, July 9, 2010



Your children cry at night
for they are hungry
and their Papa has no job
no one wants a drop out -
the head - of the family, prays.

A child watches as a family
enters a grocery store, and
their PaPa opens up his wallet,
can't pay to feed his family,
so he purchases necessities
and their growing child suffers.

Their child becomes sick, and
a druggist hands them a bill
for some generic medication –
a parent, with a tear in their
eye, leaves it there and prays
Illness will dissipate.

The family tries to sell their home –
to pay bills, to feed a weaken child
and watches when their child suffers
in a metal crib, not their own. . .
No luck, so leave their house without
a place to sleep.

The family begs for food, a place
to lay their heads, a place where a
sick child can cuddle in the night.
They dream about a wooden crib
and wake to find their child dead.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Candy in the Forest

Recently published in "What Brought You Here?"
by Dystenium http://nancy.limitededitionspress.com
Reading at Borders, Saratoga Springs, July 11th 2 pm.

If you never walked in the forest
after smoking green leaves - or
connected - side by side - friend on
friend - smelling sweet sweat -
sweetness of the soil,
or rolled around in high grass,
removed your clothes to swim nude
in a lake,
picked dead dandelions for a friend -

then you will not dream about it –
or pretend to know

If you never hitch hiked on a road
where cars seldom travel - or never
pulled back your thumb back to your
fingers - lowered your arm after a
car sped by - but smiled when your
legs tired - smiled when you were
hungry - smiled at nothing -
but laughed at everything you heard -

then you will not dream about it or
pretend to know

If you never focused on Whitmans -
“Leaves of Grass”
or focused on what it told you -

then you will not dream about it, or
pretend to know

It wasn’t a piece of candy –
or a delicate slice of fudge,
or a box in deeper shades of yellow
with names of things to come -
but a vision - the image of knowing
why? and - still living

then - you will dream about it -
and know.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all right reserved

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blinded by the Setting Sun

Blinded by the Setting Sun

Between the trees
beyond tall grass
up above, on a hill -
silent and waiting,
he stalks.

At dusk she climbs
to reach the hilltop;
eyes of a stranger
greet her, he smiles -

But no one heard
screams, yells, as he
savagely, grisly beat her -
raped her…

blinded by sunlight,
between trees
she, can't recall his

Resting on a maple leaf
a robin sings as a robin’s
wings beats
its' breast

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved