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Poetry By
  Nina Romano

Published on: 11/26/2014

I carry risotto to the table on a serving platter,
and unfinished poems in my pocket. I move from stove
to oven attending dishes in a pregnancy smock
I wore forty-two years ago, and now use as an apron.

Oh, sweet baby, did you lose yourself in too much want,
in too much love and need? Thrust yourself outward
before time not wanting to face a strange world
so happy floating and protected in my womb?

Oh how I loved you, unborn baby boy!
Love you still with the feelings I bore you then,
wearing this smock while I carried you--now a worn,
shabby apron, washed till blood red faded to sad pink!

I remember singing my dreams aloud to you
and to the sky, hoping it wouldn't fall upon my head--
ending our world. But if the blue had crashed in on us,
what matter then the dusted armoire with my husband's

pressed and folded shirts, the beaten Isfahan Persian rug,
my mother's Bavarian plates stacked neatly in the piattera,
or the manuscripts in bins near my well-appointed desk?
Alone, I carry dreams of you uncaring if the sky does fall.

Published on: 11/24/2014
The Sadness in her Eyes

At the doctor's Office
a girl sits with a colorful sundress,
wound about her legs.
I wonder if she's Jewish
as I note the Hamsa that hangs
from a chain around her neck
and dangles at a sundial scar on her chest.
She speaks French Canadian to her partner
and I guess she also speaks English,
because our gynecologist does.

She's upset and won't or can't make out
the forms the nurse gave her,
and hands them to the man.
Where is her lovely smile,
her lilting laugh?
Hidden now—veiled behind
a guise of gray
eyes looking through the window
at a cascading summer rain.

And of a sudden, I know.
Remembering that same
sadness in her eyes, that gaze
looking back at me from the mirror
when I was about her age.
She, too, has lost the baby.

Published on: 11/22/2014
Summer Rain

This morning's rain
punishes the hurricane shutters
pierces the window screens,
pulses against the panes of glass.

My hand slides across a book cover
that entices me to read,
it feels like material rather than paper,
but my mind is elsewhere,
and I remember on days like this
trying to read at the beach,
in between gusts of rainfall and wind thrashings.

I'd finally give up as the precipitation
turned to a pelting rain,
and then I'd huddle beneath the lifeguard stand
and watch my brother run through exercises
with a crew in a long rowboat,
fiercely beaten back through waves and storm.
While others rowed, he held grappling hooks
in one hand and a round, white life saver in another.
How did he balance so Christ-like in that rocking craft?

On what I knew was a count of three
after a screeching whistle blew,
he'd toss the white lifesaver ring
in an almost sideward discus throw;
then he'd throw out the hooks underhanded.
He'd kneel down, pretend to catch, pull and yank,
then toss again, pretending once more to snatch,
wrench and heave some drowning, drowned soulless
body toward the safe harbor of the boat.
Slowly, he'd reel in the lifesaver, then the heavy hooks.
I wish I could do the same now&emdash;
toss a line and catch him, drag him ashore with me
or at least into my floundering, foundering boat.

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