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Published September 18, 2017
"Cradle Rhythms" by Josephine LoRe (Second Place) - Wax Poetry and Art
Wax Poetry and Art
Poetry Contest #13 Results
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Second Place: Poetry Contest #13

Cradle Rhythms

by Josephine LoRe
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)
Under 25 Poetry Contest #1 Results
1. The Crux
Wax Poetry and Art Special Projects
45 Poems: Reflection & Response
Socially Engaged Poetry Contest #2
1. Mr. Étienne Heifara Shares His Memory
2. Our Home
3. Testing Days

Cradle Rhythms

by Josephine LoRe

new Canadians, they called us
the families on our street
Italians and the Greeks
Portuguese, Ukrainians
new Canadians

to distinguish us from the old Canadians perhaps
like Mrs. Brown from two doors down
who had a moustache
and a stubby black dog who waddled when he walked
and a carpet beater made of metal and wood

new Canadians who brought old words from the old country
like sculapasta for draining spaghetti
and sculapiatta for draining the plates
paletta and scupa to sweep up the floor

who brought old habits from the old country
like wearing black for the rest of your life
if your husband passed away
and praying to Sant’Antonio to help recover
something you had lost
and praying to the Madonna to assure safe travel

who brought old ideas from the old country
like indulging children
i picciliddri
and respecting the elderly
i vicchiariddri
and not forgetting where you came from

unforgettable moments,
this growing up in this new Canada like
45s on the record player, dancing
when company arrived, like
pleating, tying and unfolding kleenex tissue
rainbow-coloured flowers to tape onto
the silver Strato-Chief
when a cousin got married, like
watching nanna roll paper-thin lasagna
from the magic of flour, eggs, and a pizzicuni of salt
using a stegnatore
a four-foot long rolling pin
my father fashioned for her
by sanding an old broomstick, like
picking basil from the garden
warm and fragrant
for the jars of tomato sauce we were
preserving in the bagno marina

and then there were the rhythms of a language that
predates Italian
this Sicilian with roots
as wide and wild as its branches
not just in Latin but in Greek and in the
tongues of the Spaniards and the Moors and the
Normans and the Carthaginians who came to the sun-drenched
triangle of an island and liked it so much
they made it their home

rhythms that continue to resonate
like the ninna-nanna lullabies that soothed us
as babes, like the
tarantella we danced at weddings, like the
pluckings of the mandolin
sweet and sad strains that speak of longing
of leaving
the beloved land
to cross an eternity of salt

these were my cradle rhythms
the sounds I in turn rock my babies to
the snippets and stories I pass on to them
of the subtleties and complexities
of what it means to me
to be
a new Canadian

Josephine LoRe is a teacher, poet and emerging writer.  She has a
Master's Degree in Comparative Literature from l'Universite de Rouen
(France) and has studied creative writing at the University of Calgary. She
has been sharing her work on the stage since 2009 and has featured at
Woolf's Voices, the Single Onion’s Café Blanca, Unspoken, and the Filling
Station’s Flywheel series.  She is published in Haiku Canada's 2016
Anthology and their upcoming publication Wordless.  She is working on a
collection entitled
Writing Beauty and Truth.
Love in a Handful of Dust by Kirk Ramdath
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