The Tender Age of Five


It was the spot to sit

on top of our old red sofa,
and my thighs rubbing against
worn upholstery . . .
feet – kicking, raising dust.

My head leaning against
lead paint, fingers flicking
color, and two Chinese statues
stare in my direction.

Barely missing the gold framed
mirror situated over my head,
my leg’s kept on moving . . .
A restless child.

It was near dinner time when
I heard my mother scream,
“Your fathers dead, he’s dead.”
I felt my heart inside the
front of me, didn’t know a
heart raced.

But my mother’s tears became
my own, and I began to cry.
Tears rolling onto our red
velvet couch, and mother still

My mother never covered my
thighs because I wore pretty
ironed dresses, ankle socks
and buster brown shoes. . .
Never told mother how cold
my legs were: I never cried
near the gold frame mirror
above the crush velvet couch.

Those legs with ankle socks
I began to kick and dust flew
and I began to sneeze, and still
tears fell.

It was the tube, our radio,
telling listeners about the
explosion at the plant.
The plant was the General Electric
Company. I heard people were dead.
Mother called out, “Lots of people

Mother left in our old red Buick,
and Grandmother entered the living
room, knelt near the red couch. . .
I saw tears in her eye’s too, but
when she was upset, she talked in
Italian. She cried in Italian too.

I believed Grandmother when she
assured me, Daddy was fine. . .
She placed her hands on my leg’s
to stop them from moving, and put
her finger to her lips.
Now I know, she wanted to hear the

Nancy Duci Denofio – all rights reserved @2010

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Angie's Diary