#70 In Italy


#70 In Italy
2001 – 10 x 20 edition of 30 – $300

In Italy
old widows tend
their husbands’ souls,

lighting their candles
every Sunday
at some statue’s feet…
St. Francis or St. Anthony,

keeping tidy altars
in their homes,

wiping, with an apron’s edge,
the dust from the face
in the last photograph taken.

Maria cuts fresh lilies
from the garden
for the small shrine
tucked into the wall,

then hangs the sheets out,
sweeps the kitchen floor.

She buys a mass for
every anniversary,

the day they met,
the day they wed,
the day he died.

Everyday she means
to say a rosary,

prays that he won’t know
the days she’s missed,

the nights she’s dozed off
in between the beads.