Monday, January 31, 2011



so, tell me - where did you find
cash to purchase a hummer?
Protecting Madonna, sitting on
The hood – and who are you
really, staring at -I see your back

Are they laughing at the bride
laying on the sidewalk, as a man
places a pillow behind her head...

Across the street two wrecking balls
one painted with American Flag –
three men - tired destroying what
What is left, in their life?

Look at people
lingering at Union Square...
Generations sit together
eat stale chips - smoke -
play chess.
A man in yellow watches
as a child bites their nails,
knowing how to win -
eyes of a child stare
at the older generation -
to study his face.

This is where I live
near that Pepsi sign
near the Empire State Building
near crowds of people on
Broadway, I am I, I am them -

Reading billboards, in a hurry.
Someone told me, "Once -
a cigarette burned - puffed
smoke above Broadway?"

The man to my right
he is talking to his wife -
some people listen, but
most do not give a damn.

The woman to my left
wearing a red coat - she's
in a hurry - going shopping
but split her stocking near
her black shoes, wearing
white lace, short sleeves
In addition, it is only twenty degrees,
perhaps she rides the
subway – day in and day out?

Now I am in the Upper East
Side of the City - where
he sleeps in light, near a
goddess - thinking.

A goddess of marble or
is she a man? A hand beneath
her chin, it’s a her, it has to

A wind blows east, it is Harlem
Lanterns of red balls float
east - in unison – a wind moves
in different directions.
Tied to wrought iron rails
old dilapidated chairs,
a familiar host poses
while she waits for a party
to begin on Harlem Streets.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved@2010

Sunday, January 30, 2011



old age -
afternoon naps
asleep without bitterness

his old stove
seldom used
a radio sings him to sleep -
resting now - more frequently

oh - those winter days of old
sweet breads baking on a stove,
his hands…
aren't baking now

as he stares to his window pane,
tree limbs
a window - covered in frost

dreaming, I suppose

"Will I see another Spring?"

your garden, twisted sticks
those friends, the crows –
have headed south

almost all the time -
no energy to climb stairs
tougher then he ever dreamed.

a finger – reaches to
a frosted window pane
etching as a child
as if - he just touched snow.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved



Wooden doors, stained - beyond
peeling Kelly green paint…
chipped, splintered wood
slivers to bare feet – as a child runs

Next to giant yellow pillars
stands a box of metal – each morning
bottles sing as they meet side by side
a milkman waves to the child

Crooked steps where marbles roll
children sit side by side cheering
as if colors - rolling marbles -
as if they too were alive
children clap as color touches

Green shrubs above a child's head
high enough to hide within, near
red beans thriving on thorns...
one yank below a single thorn, now
just a vacant twig.

Plastic dishes hold colored beans of
red, water coated with mud - for a pie...
sitting Indian style a child
spills dirt on crooked steps.

Those rose bushes grew high
collecting bees near chipped green
paint, made some children sneeze
some fearful of a hive...
small hands rubbed raw – skin as
skin itched.

So large a world around the young,
so grand a simple place becomes
when life slips by, recalling
little things, like golden handles
on stained wooden doors.

Still hear church music play.
Grandma had to entertain the
neighborhood... Mama, beyond her
wooden door sometimes screamed
louder, over God’s prayers.

Never snipped a red rose - if God wasn't
on the radio...or dared to cause
a vine to lose color for a pie.
Mama swore about chopping down the
roses near the milk box –
she never did…

Fifty years since Mama laid flagstone from
Vermont, side by side in front of
our front porch…
age has lifted up its color,
ice and snow cracked perfect
slabs of slate... Mama placed beneath
earth now twenty five years since
that dreadful day

The earth moved those pillars,
leaving memories of childhood.
Another fifty years may
child will tell stories of naked vines,
while God preached - she created pies.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011



Twelve men moved
their seats – grasping
beer mugs, wing sauce
dripping from their
fingers – left a sloppy
place to sit among
crumpled napkins

As they passed few
smiled, to more for
two, me and you.
Few smiled as they
wiped lips on shirts
left crumpled napkins

In front of me a view
of Lake George from
the deck at Duffy’s
where music from the
sixties kept playing
even he could sing.

Twelve men sat in front
of the band, received
two free pitchers of beer
that made them smile,
some others smiled.

I told my husband - we
will probably pay double
get less -
He told me, our wings
might be left over from
a previous customer -
a table with crumbled

When wings arrived,
cold – when his sauce –
extra came – wings
were hard – we knew

Two men of twelve
walked to our table
asked, shoulder to
asked, “are you
drunk yet?”

Thursday, January 6, 2011



Sprawled out on
cement steps –
those I climb several
times a weeks to
our library –
today, I leaned my
head against a pole
closed my eyes
to see a stranger
looking back –
a stranger’s face.

Knew - your face I never
knew - or had you
known me?

Did you die?

You kept talking to me
with your eyes – staring
at me, as if asking me to
say something, do
something – so I closed
my eyes –
opened my eyes –
closed – open – closed
open – trying to make you
go away.

I began to study your face.

My eyes remained closed –

You never stopped staring,
I knew you were trying to
say something – I could see
it in your eyes –

I never knew you – but who
did you know? Who knew
you? – someone here, here
at this library?

Tell me the message –
Tell me who it is?

Or - perhaps it was only
your mistake, sending
a message to the
wrong person?

My eyes opened – closed
once more, opened and
closed –
opened -
no way to remove
your face.
Why am I playing
your game?

Strangers passing, holding
books, climbing cement
stairs – those steps – I have
climbed many times, but
never once placed my head
against this old pole –

Will you haunt me now?
Or return in a dream?

I returned, a week or
so later, sitting on cement
closing my eyes –
I’ve never seen
your face again.

Perhaps, you felt
alone in heaven?

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved
copyright 2010