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


Monday, August 30, 2010


A Last Goodbye (imagine coming back to say goodbye to one you once loved, after you have left this earth.)

A finger straight
she wipes dust from
a golden plate; white
gowns, white gloves;
men stand tall escorting
all who love.

As she floats by
stained glass windows,
white gowns, pearls and
veils . . . In her eyes –
spider webs of silk,
some a dusty shade of pink.
She watches – a line of
men turn their backs from
the golden rail. Turn away
from a golden plate. . .

Once she talked of
power like a deck of
cards turned, one by one.
And a sliver of light
cuts the fog – recalling
his arms around her
waist and lifting her
to kiss his face.

She glares into the
brightest light, then
glances back at a silk
wedding gown. . .
Her finger straight –
she lightly touches
his broad shoulder,
blows air onto his neck.

Time has come to face
a brighter light –
She said her last goodbye.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Friday, August 27, 2010


A Bird Without Wings

springs are dry
in a forest
a bird with broken
wings cannot fly –

a scanty path to
follow – to reach
a brook without

stones –
tossed my way

we keep our
distance short –
like the bird
who cannot fly,
who cannot reach

a place of security
or touch wings
fluttering as a
mother feeds
beak to beak

as an empty
spring –
our lips remain
dry –
our lips are
not moist from
each others

as a bird who
once flew
now wallows
on moist
hollow ground
hope is gone

for one
who gathered
stones - emptied
brooks where
children use to
step –

each stone
tossed -
to build a wall –

a wall - you will
never climb
you are a bird
without wings

Nancy Duci Denofio

Wednesday, August 25, 2010



those words we heard together
from a stranger – stayed near
for such a short time -
I thought it would have changed
you – I believed power from
beyond would have opened up
a force you never felt –

but – I was wrong

why I worry more then you?
why I beg for your lips?
why I ask for a little time?

my reasons are now fading
I was wrong - to wonder

those words we heard together
meant so much for so little
time – if I had a string to
tie you – to have you listen
to them one more time –

it would not have made you
different – your words were
always right -

but, I was always wrong

you walk through time as a
you ignore me like a pestering
you shake your head and agree

but, then you say you don’t
recall why?

my reasons are now fading
as those words from a stranger
I did believe you listened

but, I was wrong

turn away – for I am not looking
turn away – for I am not hearing
turn away – because I can see
a statue passing by –

you were once the best wine on
my lips
you were the best cluster of grapes
to make – wine
your were the best taste when we

I see how love dissolves

I am the last grape on your vine

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Thursday, August 19, 2010



Stone houses against
a mountain side, between
bushes of red gardenias
and hydrangeas near
lime and lemon trees,
near olive branches –
and wheat fields.

A street, narrow;
balconies and stoops
where town folk gather
in clusters, similar to
all clusters - along
the edge of the mountain.

Villagers gather to share
secrets - or to be proud;
a cross now pinned outside
off of a cotton slip -
signifying her husband or
son notified her - soon
they shall return for
those he left behind.
Leaving America - a place
he only knew.

A gust of wind - a thin layer
of ash from Mount Etna
finds its way between the
mountain and lay its ash
over the clothes attached
to olive trees.

Women pray for spring to
bring heavy rains, and keep
rain away in June – for it
would kill buds blooming
on the trees.

Women pray for husbands
to come home, to be happy
in the mountain, filling sacks
with wheat – for the wheat
man – the rich man in town.

This winter a few flakes of
snow crossed the mountain
top – and kissed a palm.

A simple stoop of stone –
a hen struts by to
enter a home - with an open
door, where birds of all
colors – as shrubs or trees
flock to hear the music
on the streets.

Homes stand side by
side, deeper – instead of
wide. A simple stoop where
women compare the price
of an artichoke - when few
feet walked –
pick another fresh – but its
weight to much to bare.

Pictures of saints are lined
on walls, near a picture of
the Brooklyn Bridge.
One room – one table, and
chairs. Upstairs, what
women call a marriage

At the end of a day when
purple covers the sea and
a mountain sleeps – when
donkeys are tied in stalls
and children dream – some
stay awake counting stars.

Children hear prayers from
a neighbors home, and cries –
when a letter arrives – knowing
someone else will never cross
the ocean – will never make it
home – back where houses
clustered close, where elders
And in the darkness
children listen.

Nancy Duci Denofio

Wednesday, August 18, 2010



rubber hits ice, air escapes
like a bursting balloon
pulling me sideways then

down, as if a giant hole
in the pavement sucked
me into darkness

horns muffled and water
rushed inside, touching
my feet, rushing up
to my knees, as cold as
autumn air, I
taste sharp cracks
in ice as if a razor blade
cut my skin

I can hear the six o'clock
plane heading west, and the bells
of Saint Agnes - like the
flushing of a toilet, pulling
down through a drain, sucking
all that is . . .

I hear the wind cut through
bare branches
of a tree, as bodies swarm
on top of me - on ice - my teeth
clenched, my head touching
the steering wheel - then
a red light warmed my soul.

Nancy Duci Denofio
published in What Brought You Here
June 2010 page 39

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Carnival


At the fire station –
cotton candy, caramel apples,
and the merry-go-round,
but I knelt near a window
a shade half blocking my view.
I heard music from the
same song, and
same horses.
same people from
our village standing in line.

I leave the porch to
sit on worn steps, chipped
paint catches cotton.
I stretch my legs to kick some
stones, and scuff my shoe’s.

You are not here to yell,
you are not here to watch
me cross a street,
you are not here to hold me
when the horse moves up and

You are not here to hug me.

A small road crosses in front
of the old porch where cars
park near weeds, near grave
markers, those dead from the
I wonder if you too can hear
the music?
I wonder if you too can see
flashing lights?

You are not here to keep my
hand warm, but next to all those
parked cars, you are still there,
still riding the merry-go-round
at the carnival. . .
but, you forgot to say good-bye.

Nancy Duci Denofio
published June 2010
by Dystenium
pages 14 - 15

Friday, August 13, 2010



One morning on my way to school,
I took the orange pills from our window
ledge – facing Seneca Street where
mother watches me if I run to fetch
something from the big market. . .
I take her from the ledge, stuff them
into my pocket of a freshly starched
pink flowered dress.
Behind grandmother’s bushes near
red beans I use to make mud pies,
I remove the top.
All those orange pills stare at me, like
the eyes of those in our neighborhood.
I took one - chewed it – then started to
walk, first past Charlie’s Grocery – he
wasn’t in his rocker chewing on his
cigar. . .

I walked down Avenue A toward my
school, noticed one of mother’s friends
beating a rug against the railing of her
porch. She never looked my way, so I
took another orange pill from the jar,
and chewed it. Then, glanced back
toward the porch, waved to mother’s
friend, sneaking the bottle back into
my pocket. I thought I took enough
to live.

“Twinkle - Twinkle little star….”

Humming the song to myself, leaning
my head against the push out window
of our Studebaker… “How I wonder what
you are?”
I began to draw stick figures on the window
of our Studebaker then rubbing it clean –
breathing – rubbing – breathing – rubbing
and drawing, erasing it – exhaling, and
breathing, drawing, erasing it . . .

“Up above the world so high….”
I believe it was my first time to fly.

Nancy Duci Denofio
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



approached the village
grave yard resting
near old train tracks
over looking
mountains of Vermont

in fall, marble wraps
an envelope by color -
summer – a robin’s nest
in the old maple -

one robin, beating its'
breast on a giant limb -
must - be Mama

watching her child
fly near her gravesite, near
buckets where syrup cries

no roadway in winter -
on top of the crest of
pure white snow - a

grave yard - cement
markers peek out of
white over coats -

Mama’s voice - is
silently yelling -

"Up here, on the hill....
it's cold, and I'm alone."

Nancy Duci Denofio
And yes, I can hear my mother calling - especially when the winter hits the New England States.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Lines In Dust

never join me
when I cry

building piles
on a floor
of cluttered
gently your
pointer finger
making lines
on dust

head forward
leaning to your
right, reading?

If these tears
were blood
down my cheeks -
would you rush
to wipe the floor -
or clean
my face?

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Monday, August 9, 2010


Touching Silk

Between pink painted lips
you whispered
slanted - flirting eyes
stared - bending your knees
slightly twisting your body –
a vanilla Tootsie Roll machine.

Miniature stars glittered
in moonlight - you raised
your long white
gloved arm to wave –
moonlight shined
in baby blue eyes

At the auto shop
I watched men
slap your ass as they
prepared to brace ice and snow
to “filler up.”
In the basement a picture
hangs collecting dust -
Marilynn bent over touching silk
her head flung back slightly
tilted to the right
she was laughing.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Two Peaches Kissing

thin - old bedspread
clashes with fringe
on a lamp shade -
a glass shower door -

seltzer bubbling
garbage can full..
one more cigarette -
all packed.

a red tipped cane
supports a cold
wall - near, two
peaches kissing.

clock ticking on a
nearby bed stand,
hear the lady with
a spray can - closer

past departing time
a knock on the door -
the cane hits the rug

she doesn't talk, her
feet must be wrapped
in rubber

smell the disinfectant
she will reach - to feel
fuzz, from two peaches

I'll tell her they are mine.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Monday, August 2, 2010

YOU ASKED ME TO DANCE published What Brought You Here pg. 5-7

Following an accident - as a child - and returning to the spot and as an adult remembering what occured, and with your eyes closed, you see yourself there, once more.



A white butterfly . . .
You have come home to dance
on my shoulder, high above daisies
to spin in circles

casting our shadows on a pond
a rendezvous of seasons, and
a landscape covered with snow. . .
You fooled me.

Your sister’s, sister?
No one noticed when she fell
through ice.
A white picket fence keeps
me away.

I feel your wings.
You flutter toward the barn
pass the statue of the
BlessedVirgin Mary.

We dash to skip over holes
in the floor of the barn.
You grab my hand
we skip over light; reflections on

a wide plank wooden floor.
We pass a broken lantern
red glass shimmers,
and Grandmother’s wedding dress
hung near our homemade stage.

You grab my hand, and together
we run to the hillside
we roll into a ball and tumble
“head over heals”, Grandmother said,
on over grown grass. . .
We roll over clover and our toes tangle
in weeds,
we roll near apples left beneath the apple
tree . . .

In winter,
I hear you laugh -
your tear’s roll down your face
you’re laughing so hard
you bend to catch your breath. . .

Your chin captures yellow of a butter cup,
and again - the wings of a white butterfly
leads me to the white picket fence. . .
The slope disappears.
The apple tree, a twig.
And your face
appears in murky water.

Your laughter still surrounds me. . .
A stone is tossed, and circles swirl over,
and over.
My eye’s close as if captured by the
swirling water,
and you were gone.

Forgive me.

A yellow eye - inside a white daisy
asked - me to dance. . .
we are leaping across summer grass
near tall weeds and wild flowers.
Our dance ends – so,
I snap your stem to take you home.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved