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


Friday, April 30, 2010


Her washing machine
hooked to her sink in
her kitchen, with a long
hose hanging from a
faucet –

Water filled the basket
connected to the side of
her machine, and a second
hose emptied dirty water
into a porcelain tub.

A wringer higher, and
cream colored like a
wafer cookie, and the
shape of a rolling pin
stood waiting to be hand

She stands and twists
dirty laundry over and over
again, before she rolls
the clothes like preparing
for a home made pie.

She twists and holds them
up - inspects for stains.
Clean clothes receive a
gentle swing.

On her stove in her kitchen
a copper kettle filled with
water, boiling; as she
glances inside copper where
her bad clothes release dirt.

Her youngest son walks by
and her elbow hits the copper
kettle: a three year old

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

We fell into purple
water never to be found.
I swam beside mermaids,
whales, and landed
on Rock Island Sound.

No one found you -
or our boat.
No one found my clothes,
rings, or wasted dreams.

Left for dead - but
I have won - as a puff
of wind - a burial
simmering with a
scorching sun.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A City Street 1875

Hitching posts line
cobblestone streets,
awnings open to shade
a window of glass; in
rain, iron floats in air.

At the entrance a
proprietor leans against
a wall of brick; he stares
at a city street twisting
turning between blooms
on a dogwood tree..

At Center Street a
wooden box reads
deposit trash.

A horse, upset, swings
a wooden wagon; youths
in knickers run to fetch
fruit bouncing on

A proprietor stares
as a horse defecates
in front of his property;
knowing summer heat
will keep his front door
closed until men who
carry shovels clear
the air – till then, it’s
a quiet day.

Nancy Duci Denofio
Have You Seen Blind?

blind like a sea roaring off shore
or a tree waving from the top of
a mountain – no one has climbed -
blind like ants in the shadow
of a step, or a temple - a day after war -
blind like a crosswalk or a keyhole
in the night...
blind as a bird in a storm.
blind as a winner - losing again...
blind as sunshine - a screen to a
widow’s web.
blind like worn shoes of a dancer,
or a statue directing our way -
blind as a lamppost in daylight -
blind as a window draped in cloth -
blind like darkness you have brought.

Nancy Duci Denofio

Friday, April 23, 2010


Proud - holding
her child's hand.
Proud - when
wealthy women
turned away...
Proud - of who
she is and where
shes been -

Clinging to her
child - her
dead son -
she would not
let him go -
her feet kept
beating back
and forth, as
the rocker moved.

Lowers her eye
lids - tears
pour down her face...
still proud - of
her child...
she holds.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dreaming of a Clown

Small hands rest on a
window ledge . . .
little legs kneel
on a braided rug.

Dreaming of a carnival . . .
cotton candy, roasted nuts,
and a smell of popcorn
filling midnight air.

Music played on and on,
magic lights flashed
from a merry-go-round.
Sounds of laughter
in a street - a little
girl - crosses her feet.

She breathes on a pane
of glass - tiny fingers
draw a picture of a clown -
eyes, nose, mouth, and
she - always makes him frown.

Nancy Duci Denofio

It wasn't the hair, gauze
shirt - three buttons
open exposing a hollow
chest, but his voice -
strong -
creating goose bumps
on my arms, but he
filled my heart.

Who - who was he before
he turned old?
Arms thin -
moccasins worn...

Strength came from his
soul as his soul
cried out -
reaching his nervous

Care? Who cares when it
was yesterday - today he
gave his blood -
He sits, legs thin,
crossed - one moves back
and forth...

A bit weaker

Eyes stare at a gauze
shirt, beard, worn
moccasins and ignored
worn out purple veins.

Nancy Duci Denofio
copyrighted material

Who found me
in the forest,
hugging earth?
Only small red lines
on skin -
left - to signify pain.

Who found torn skin,
soiled clothes –
who searched through
fallen – limbs,
whose feet touched mud,
moved dead leaves
kicked pebbles?

With clean soules you
walk across clean white
floors. . .
to stare
into vacant eyes, as
you stand behind glass.

No one understood -
hugging earth.

Nancy Duci Denofio all material
copywrited by author
Woman in Black

Mohair hangs from a
center beam – the color pink
A man in leather - beats the
back of his guitar –
standing there – close to him
a woman in black…
believes she’s Janis Joplin –
center of attention…
her drink spills onto a
wooden floor –
we stand,
blow out our candle.

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Smile Lines Your Face

With night - trapped
In our space, I lay awake,
lift my head
to watch you as you sleep…

Black hair, a rough
beard, your eye’s closed,
peacefulness - surrounds
you… probably dreaming?

A smile lines your face…
My eye’s close
I knew I was safe...

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved
Weeping Willow

sun of morning frost
roses weeping, now...

weeds watch over
thorns, as power
fades, petals lay

among clover,
waiting for a timely
goodnight kiss...

how magnificent
it is to die like a
porcupine beneath

a weeping willow...

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved