A Wedding

The invitation had arrived three months before the event. First, by word of mouth; later, a printed card and RSVP. The wedding of Marisa and Tommaso. Marisa’s family were from a nearby town in Beata’s Lunigiana. Her paesani were the closest people she had next to her few relatives. She and Federico had talked about … Continue reading A Wedding


Poem for Agostino and All of Us

Agostino Sanelli: 20-8-1933 ~ 2-7-2015   I am sad for us Even the last goodbye is gone Now the earth has claimed you as her own.   Now we hold the many yesterdays When we nurtured our dreams Over tables of food Family banter yelling enthusiasm Dreaming our futures Telling the past You singing and … Continue reading Poem for Agostino and All of Us

Extended family

Beata watches Luisa fussing with cups and spoons, sugar, napkins, tablecloth water glasses. She marvels at her cousin’s concentration on the minutiae of coffeemaking; feels the brandy numbing her head and arms; is relieved to surrender this moment of her life to this cousin who seems to know so clearly what to do and how … Continue reading Extended family

Battered woman

*** When Beata arrives at her cousin’s grocery store on this particular morning, it is just before ten a.m. and there are already some customers in the shop. Her first cousin Luisa and husband Matteo arrived in Melbourne five years before Beata, directly after getting married in Italy. They have no children and are buying … Continue reading Battered woman

Factory friends

‘Ey! Bea! Beatrice!’ Beatrice turned to see her friend Carmela, who was running to catch up with her. She stopped and waited to exchange a quick peck on both cheeks before they stepped together into the ornate wooden doorway that was the entrance of Ricki Reed. ‘Ciao, Carmela’ said Beatrice, ‘Come va?’ Carmela turned up … Continue reading Factory friends