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


Sunday, February 13, 2011



The streets - a spectacle
of beauty – icicles hung from
lampposts magnifying
sheets of frozen water on

While - women complained
how cold it was –
inside one room - a
tenement, filled with

While - women complained
of noise outside, it was the
middle of the night; men
gathered around a pail
of fire - like bums

Men - gathered inside a
Saloon, inside a back –
room - more men people
gathered there – or around
a corner at a butcher shop
both had a back – door.

Men – those who worked -
delivered coal, complained
when they were on strike,
while women used brown
sugar and the price of
steak cheaper than butter -

Stockade – streets filled
by people from their towns,
countries, divided by streets
Moreover, thousands moved in
yet, how many – no one
really knew.

War, men from other countries
felt obligated to fight, to stand
tall for the new country called
home – while others never did
become American.
War, war in the streets,
in alley ways in bar rooms
on corners, but not far away
the rich played.

Stockade, its streets with
Saloons, bakeries, grocery
stores and men directing
a horse and carriage yelling
“Rags, rags.”

Children in knickers run –
upset the horse, dash to
find fruit, a fruit man and
his horse and carriage
tumbled on cobblestone –

A stockade, where Indians
once fought – still brings
war to immigrants claiming
space on city streets.

Nancy Duci Denofio
@2011 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, February 10, 2011



Did you walk with me
on these streets
where cars were once
cluttered, where men
in uniforms and white
gloves - stopped us?

Look, there was no over-pass
for trains or people hiding
from the rain - kissing.

Remember when we would
cuddle so close together
just past the over-pass
as you parked your Cutlass
behind the State Theatre?
Oh, I know you remember…

Yes – before the over-pass
did men and women our
age hold hands in front of
the Strand Movie House? –
They walked for hours to get
there but for what?

The lines weren’t for James
Bond, or for free candy if
you purchased tickets
earlier in the day, no – it was
for bugs. Bugs – the owner
of the Strand, made children
line up against a wall while

heads were checked, all
the immigrants, those who
couldn’t speak a word of
English, has to prove they
could sit in one of their
chairs with other children.

You see, the man, he
sprayed those children, made
sure they didn’t bring inside
one single bug from -
Ellis Island, or had any
sticking to their tattered
sweaters. Wonder what they
were sprayed with?

Wonder if you forgot those
I will never forget you?
You disappeared as if taken
by a dark shadow behind red
velvet curtains -
Did the man remove you?
Were you an immigrant from
the past?

I know you never had bugs
nor did they check you at the
State Theatre – we were
someones dream back then, but
or those hot nights – on Route 9

when we enjoyed Malta Drive-in
outside movies, in cars, yes -
your Cutlass and yes, bugs
did come through open windows
opened to let some air inside
your Cutlass - remember
the stick you used to drive the
car between bucket seats?

Bugs did fly around us, but
did it matter?

Nancy Duci Denofio
all rights reserved

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Dancing in Sunlight

A fog lifts to expose
a morning sunrise,
she is as naked as the sea…
she twirls in circles,
her hair drapes along her
back and lifts up, away
from her shoulders with
a gentle – gust of wind.

As if she walked across
water, her legs lightly
touch sea shells, shells
caught between her toes
as her hands brush specs
of sand too near her eyes.

On her knee’s she digs
holes in sand to cover her
nude body, and stands,
small pieces of color shine
on her body like a burst
of sunshine.

The ocean spins her,
throws her to her left, then
backward – she lost her
resting place.

The morning moon lingers,
slowly evaporates, spilling
colors of orange, red, and
a hint of purple.

She dances on white foam,
at the waters edge - to bring
back treasures lost.

Sea gulls collect and clutter up
the shore, above scattered
mounds of seaweed, breathing.

She too dances over
litter strewn through seaweed,
but a rising tide will take
away her space, as her eyes
watch when birds disappear.

She continues to search for
lost treasures, but - sand has
fallen through her fingers…

Inside near her open window,
on a metal stand. a piece
of ice shrinks,
breaking the silence.

A clock, large enough to see,
a sink to wash, a tub
to bathe; with help, she
knows it’s Wednesday.

She hears the hiss of a
sprinkler, and two voices
laughing in the distance…

Her feet push, to keep her
rocker, rocking.

wraps around her face,
kissing her lips – blue eyes
shed tears, her white
hair glitters…. as if it were
water - on a beach, and
she hums, smiles -
resisting tomorrow. . .

She captures light, traps it
between her thin fingers, rubs
her face as if sand left precise
pebbles from the wind.

At noon, the smell of meat
loaf, instead of soiled sheets.
Her finger presses a button
when a red light flashes.

The thud of silverware
on plastic plates, a crumpled
napkin in her hand, forgetting
to wipe her face.

Nearby, a black crow lands
on the limb of a maple, drags
its limb downward.

She dances on the lawn
and the black crow flies.
The next Monday, birds
gathered to rest outside
her window ledge.