Alice Gresto

The Great Depression     a chorus line folds

a Jesuit slips his collar

a priest and a chorine     flee to L.A.

I arrive in time for Christmas

fighter planes     Mama drops a million rivets

Dad fits war ships     ration stamps keep us afloat

Mama’s fist grips my chin     she chops off my hair

I wear a scarf to school     nuns protest

Senior year     a handsome sailor winks     Mama threatens

to leap off the roof onto our picket fence     I disappear

into a watercolor fog of marriage, children, degrees,

divorce, teaching, Vivaldi, guitars

reappear with Alberto, the Italian, in Cassis, Paris, Rome,

the Adriatic     I learn to eat pasta e fagioli and squid with garlic

Alice Gresto holds a B.A. in English from California State University, Fullerton, and an M.A.Ed. from Cal Poly, Pomona. Retired from teaching, she volunteers in local schools, tutors for the Orange County READ program, serves on the board of trustees for OLLI, (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at California State University, Fullerton and teaches an interactive Spanish-language enrichment class for members of OLLI. She has studied at the Poetry Camp in Idyllwild, California. and with Tebot Bach in Huntington Beach. She writes with a local poetry group in Brea, California. Her work has appeared in Borderlines, The Fullerton Observer, The Titan and the OLLI anthology, Poetry for Pleasure.

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