Wednesday, June 7, 2023

What’s become of the peanut-eyed snowman?

August 9, 2015

by Alessio Zanelli


Paper, pastels, slate and chalk.
May hay and August corn.
Sweat, soap and talcum powder.
Carrot and potato soup.
Scents from the age of daydream,
as neat as four decades ago.

Almost all the rest has disappeared,
gone blank and mute within the tangle,
except for a vermilion streak below the knee
and wild screams across the schoolyard.
Where is the stately elm
that used to tower at the center of our realm?
The iron roundabout? The secret hideaway?
What’s become of the peanut-eyed snowman?
Who’s taken his straw hat and besom?

How discordant to have to travel over a thousand miles
to come to grips with such a sulk, to feel at ease,
free and brave enough to take such backward leaps!

One of the remotest cutbacks goes like this:
Say, Do, Kiss, Letter or Will?
A kiss on her freckled cheek, without a word,
I would have liked my sole reply to be.
Say, however, is just what I would always say.
Remember is my only choice today.

Alessio Zanelli, Italian, long ago adopted English as his literary language. His work has appeared widely in journals from 13 countries, including, in the USA: California Quarterly, Concho River Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Italian Americana, The Lyric, Poetica Magazine, Potomac Review, Santa Clara Review, The Worcester Review and World Literature Today. His fourth collection, Over Misty Plains, was published in 2012 by Indigo Dreams, UK.

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