the jar

I found an old jar in her kitchen
that for long had remained unused

it was like one I remembered from childhood
that I used to cling on to

the trees in my mother’s garden were many and beautiful
though she lived in a small apartment
by the sea

of the silent guest at her table
she would talk to her family

yes the trees in my mother’s garden were beautiful
but the jar
I threw into the sea

of the silent guest at her table
the sea has no memory

parcels from Italy 

when I was a boy
I would receive

parcels from Italy
quite regularly 

books
I could not read

clothes
too small for me

maternal greetings
fripperies

now I miss them 
infinitely 

Infinite Sorrow

I have been to Rome many times,
though not for some years.

I went to see an old lady in Balduina,
overlooking St Peter’s.

I saw little of the city, however,
spending much time in the kitchen,
listening to her talk
as she prepared the evening meal.

How she could talk.

“Sonny,” she would say,
“in your life you have suffered greatly.
But I have suffered infinitely.”

She cooked the best veal
I have ever eaten.

Infinite sorrow can taste pretty good.