Two Poems

Granny: A Poem for 2018

That April Sunday a
first grandchild came into
the world, exiled by a
placental abruption
with no sense of humour.
Thirty-six hours later,
disbelief pulled the plug
and that perplexed creature
became a floppy doll.

The following Sunday
a second grandchild was
born—embraced in woollen
voices, lullabied by
familiar hands. After
another thirty-six
hours, sweeties flowers toys
were eager to bring their
little miracle home.

All I remember of
twenty-eighteen is that
week, how I’d stare at the
kitchen floor and question
its age-old mosaic.
I’m still striving to find
some wisdom in it, as
I try to learn how to
chew this cyanide joy.

Life, My Child, is a Struggle

Afternoons pass in a flash—
Like a boy dying to go
to parish hall, he waits for
a lift to the home. There, he’ll
argue with other bitter
eighty-year-olds over a
lost hand of cards for a few hours.

Daybreak arrives like a thud—
Sunk into his last armchair,
sunbeams stabbing through the dense
living-room dark, he wonders
under his breath: Is there a
single thing still worth fighting
for, now that my love is gone…?

Infernal heat on the drive
back from thermal springs—Exit
missed twice with a curse—U-turn
on the high-speed one-way road.
He may not recall who was
at the wheel: does this absolve
him from killing her that day?

A linguist by passion, training and trade, Antonietta Bocci has spent her adult life in a diasporic space stretching across four countries and three continents, working as a teacher, translator and interpreter. She writes dual-language poetry (in her native Italian and her adoptive English), in a process whereby the two versions engage in mutual contamination, rather than one simply being the rendering of the other. Some of her poems have featured in literary blogs and magazines in Italy and the US; others were commended, shortlisted or longlisted at Italian and Chinese poetry competitions; others still are forthcoming in British and Swiss journals.