The path my Great Grandfather walked each
morning to a field of wheat earning money
for his family. Another owned the land, he
was paid by how much wheat grew, how much
he picked, and stored in a stone hut.  Prayers
for good growing weather could be heard by
the women in town.

This is the side of his home – the only one left
standing, where small windows allowed my
Grandfather to view the sea – he too worked
the fields until he left Sicily, as a young man,
with a bundle of dreams, he travels to a world
different, and still controlled. 

This piece gives the reader a view over the
ledge of the mountain, one my Great Grandfather
had seen each morning.  For he was a slave
to both land and man.

The Home of my Great Grandfather in Sicily


The familiar path out
of the village of
Aquafacaro – to reach
wheat fields – began at
the square – at the corner –
where men and boys gathered
to greet a rising sun –
peasants – their life
snuggled along a mountain –

Francisco crept up along the side
of his home, on a dusty path.
I would guess – Francisco
rode on his donkey’s back,
and each day he began his
climb up a hill – he must
had stopped to gaze to his
right – to see a sun peek
out from the sea, as
another day changed the color
of his face, his life, from
dark purple to aqua marine.

Francisco, a peasant
covered in white cloth, a
hat on his head to ward off
the sun – staring from the
edge of the mountain to lights
fluttering, sparkling like
bubbles in colored water
above the sea – different
shades of pink; soft,
warmer – as a ball of fire
drinks purple water –
a hue – a brilliant shade
of aqua, turquoise – yet
pink wants to survive.

Francisco – must have stood
still – for a few minutes –
as his eyes moved left to
right – watching shades of
light – as life awakes in
his village – a few feet from

a path where his day began. . .

If he gazed further into a
sea of aqua – his heaven,
to see the Aeolian Island –
he may have dreamed one day
his life too – quite, beautiful –
like small pieces of land
surrounded by colors of a

Francisco – picked wheat,
filled sacks, and walked his
donkey to a stone hut – placed
wheat beneath shade.

Back and forth – a sun grew
larger in the sky.

At days end, Francisco, on his
donkey’s back – repeated his
familiar path – down a dirt,
and dusty road –

I can picture him glancing – off
to his left, as a sun fell
into evening waters – orange –
violet – as if water painted
geraniums, hibiscus, oranges,
lemons – of this land.

Color soaking gradually into
a sea, tinting a sky – beautiful
shades of purple.

He fed his donkey – walked past
friends selling fish, almonds,
and olives – his smile slight –
home – to his wife, Santa. Now
he rests on his stoop – in front
of his home at the corner of a
square in his village until
morning light – a sea –
one more daylight, another
view over a mountain’s edge.

  1. Avatar of Kate McNairy
    Kate McNairy says

    Gripping! This comes alive.

  2. Avatar of Nancy Duci Denofio
    Nancy Duci Denofio says

    This is only a touch of the books – from those pages I choose which scenes will be poetic memoir. When I have everything finished you will be reading the books too. I believe an author can use both genres, especially in memoir, non fiction. The truth comes from the heart – the heart can be read to an audience with class – and sounds much better than a chapter, but pulls them into the scene of one chapter, etc. I hope to get this point across to others – there is nothing like hearing the author – remember the 15 years of teaching Author Presentation… Thanks Kate – always, Nancy

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Angie's Diary