Many of these poems will be of the city of Schenectady from early 1900 to the present.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Second Hand Mama

baked a home made
chocolate cake,
like Mama -tasted your potato
salad, it was as if
Mama came home - heard
you have one crooked arm,
held my breath when
you extended your arm,
Mama, she use to
show people her arm
proud she
broke it playing touch
football with
her ten brothers -
you speak your
mind as Mama did -
always right. . .
I heard you
love to gamble,
playing cards and dice -
traveling to exotic
places - Mama, did too -
Mama, handed me my
first quarter
for a slot machine -
you never did. . .guess
you’re my - second hand Mama.

Saturday, June 26, 2010



No other gown
close - with threads
inside – out - as light
catches a flicker
of gold - as a leg
extends, and the
other, a twist, a
turn, and golden
threads sparkle

dark shadows
a crowd of different
shapes with eyes
watching a girl
in pink as golden
threads - catch light
she told her
dressmaker – inside
she told herself

it’s hot, this make
up, don’t hurry,
don’t run, don’t
sweat, don’t trip
in high heels while
I walk with smaller
steps, and turn
a bit to let the
light catch golden

don’t look at any
of the ghosts in
the dark, with eyes
that see –

flash – flash – flash

my eyes see circles
of round brilliant
light – larger than
tiny lights, I must
follow the runway

she twists slightly
a body moves to
music – twists
slightly – like a
Tootsie Roll

then with gusto –
shoulders held back,
head facing ghosts
knowing eyes are
watching every
move – her head
twists a body
follows to a
designated spot –

and, you stand to
stare – too move
ever so slowly –
a bit cock eyed as
a hip pushes out
as a leg kicks
across another as
a body twists and

keep these arms
still – remember to
look from left to

flash – flash – flash

those circles are
back – now I have
to talk – talk – talk
as slow as I walked

“Thank you. Thank
now tell them
your name and what
great state you are
from – clearly, and
turn to face the ghosts
remember the eyes
in the dark

her head is still – as
she hears the audience
cheering – clapping
her shoulders move
and once more those
golden threads
sparkle in the light
and a slight nod
a slight smile
a slight movement
then twist, a body
leads, a head is

walk tall, don’t
hunch over, tall and
straight, straight to
the dressing room,
don’t trip, don’t
look down – never
look down

it’s over
ghosts have simply
left the room, and
circles of light are
now fluorescent

she recalls the

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Friday, June 25, 2010

We Have Returned

We Have Returned

Giant buildings - no bigger
than my finger – at the curve
swimming in the ocean – huts
of blue – empty - last nights
foot prints show at low
tide – nothing has changed

I recall laughing – then a hush
it was last night before
seaweed washed beyond a
tractors tracks disturbing ladies
carrying plastic bags
shells to send home – as if to
prove, “We are here.”

Some jog – some linger in
a morning fog – some alone –
others walk hand in hand
to view another sunrise – to
snap another photo – even as
a tide rolls in and out –
our sun brings silence as it
reaches up and out of the

At high noon when heat
burnt tender flesh, blisters –
mothers plaster lotion
onto bare skin – believing in
At high noon children stir
sand into castles – a dream
destroyed when day is night

Men cover up their nose with
Noxema – strut up and down
the shore still staring at a girl
in a bikini – forgetting what
it is – but knowing when

their children played in sand
and slept in blue huts along
an ocean, slept in simple
rooms – heard the rush of
a high tide slapping wooden

laughing never ceased, as
children - free to walk
along a shore –
tossing bread to sea gulls
laughing – knowing tomorrow
would be like today – no one
thought time would pass so
quickly as a tide greeted a
moon in a night sky.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Where Is Love?

Where is Love?

If I had my way I would keep
you tucked away
where only I could
be your lover
where only I
could be
your friend

I'd keep
you happy
private dreams,
inside our
private world.

Stillness in the dark
drops into a room
where I am alone
to picture, your face,
taste life

You can remove
dampness from morning,
loneliness from day –
everything you give me,
I need
everything I need,
I need with you

all we share - dreams,
laughter – we have
cried tears of joy, and
sadness –
celebrate love
as one

without you what is life?
and when did it begin?
and why must it end -

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Saturday, June 19, 2010


the porch, in the front
the porch near roses,
near metal milk crates
and above colored slate
from Vermont – is where
she sits – Indian Style,
on top of pieces of
wood, warped, and
gray paint peeling

the porch near two
doors leading too
two families in the
city, on a corner lot
in a city filled with
children who played,
played – as she watched.
the porch where she
smiled when a friend
walked by, a friend one
day –

sitting Indian Style
she smiled once more
another friend walked
by – near the hedges
lining the property,
she saw her feet
touch cement, her head
looked straight ahead –

legs crossed Indian
style on the porch
where fingers picked
at pieces of wood
covered in gray paint,
a smile on her face
a stray tear rolled
down her face,
caught the edges of
her lips, where a
smile – remained

scooting over to the
right, toward the
metal milk box,
she opened the lid
and there – inside
where paper dolls
were stored - inside,
she saw her friends
smile back.

Nancy Duci Denofio
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Do Anything...

They said, "Do anything,"
bad habits
didn't matter -

A cigarette – taking in
deep drags and then
exhaling – followed by
a diet with less fat, as
bones became thin
protruded through skin.

Ice inside a crystal glass,
sings... hands tremor as
one mixes a tonic and gin.

Strip off your wig -
white fuzz sparkles
as it blends in summer

A minister fighting
on a porch, but he is
among tulips in bloom
as spring sings with
robins beating their

You bend, pick the
color red, a favorite
rose, and sweat seeps
deeper into lines on
your face as if a thorn
has carved age in place.

You could have been
strong, clicked your
heals, swung your
brief case – or wore
aprons not suits –
aprons crossed
instead of cloth draped
over boney knees –

Do anything, was all
they said...

Nancy Duci Denofio
all right reserved

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Shadow Lost on Friday

bored with him, his
bearded face - curious
curling of smoke
twisting to meet her eyes,

her shoulders droop
still -
a drink warms
ice melts,

as wrists curl -
two shadows on a wall
as he puffs a
pipe, a ring of smoke

near gentle features,
seeps into pores -
he doesn’t talk
a shadow - still

he knows she detests
him, his grubby looks,
fruitless charm –
a shadow lost

she thought,
perhaps? Pouts -
crosses her legs - her feet
beneath a marble table,

dreaming of next
Friday -
shadows on a wall,
wrists bent to hold her

head - sips beer
from a crystal glass -
lights her only cigarette,
men stare at her, a flickering

of golden light – still
a shadow cold – a marble top,
smell the aroma
from a bean of vanilla,

a bearded mans pipe -
until Saturday.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Congress Park

come, smile
look at me
you, with a parasol
held high above
your head -
such - white skin…

get closer,
no curves in
your spine, or
elsewhere on
your - person…

sitting so straight
occupying wooden
chairs - scattered
along a path,
chairs of spindle…
match your back.

cross over,
I’m relaxing,
with my legs
crossed, back –
staring at you
while I suck my

all of you, carry
parasols – sexy
beautiful, but alone

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fifth Avenue

“Remember me -
on Fifth Avenue,
I wore that
red and white

Remember, the
day you lost it
in the wind -
It kept me warm.

I left a package
I carried from the
grocery store, not,
your worn out shoes -
Italian bread,
baked ham
a bottle of seltzer -
I remember.

The door man
should have noticed…

Why did you move?

I’ve walked Fifth Avenue
for weeks
to track you down…

Did you had to leave
your card board box?"

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved