Some Years Later
When I return to the old neighborhood,
I gaze out the kitchen window
of the Italian matron next door
as she bakes her famous bread.
Leaves fall on Diamond Field
where I played ball as a kid; I see
black and brown boys banking free throws
off backboards, dunking on netless hoops.
I hear children laughing, rushing down
slides, dashing from first base to
try for home.
She says the 'hood is Finito:
look at the junk cars in the yards,
wood fences cracked, doors hanging
from hinges, kicked in, she says.
I see shirtless children racing through sprinklers,
backyards cramped with barbeque pits and lawn chairs.
I suggest that we all need somewhere to live,
something affordable, and she hisses,
I’m just speaking my mind,
but then she makes the sign of the Cross.
Brian Fanelli's poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and most recently appears or is forthcoming in Spillway, Main Street Rag, Poetry Quarterly, Red Rock Review, Portland Review, Boston Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. Brian is the author of one chapbook, Front Man (Big Table Publishing), and his first full-length book will be released later this year through Unbound Content. A resident of Pennsylvania, Brian has an M.F.A. from Wilkes University, and currently works as an English instructor.