Stomping Grounds

We drove down the Avenue,

the one that captured memories of yesterday,

and ogled transformations of the familiar

New faces and new places now called this place home

Making our way down the crowded street,

a staple of my childhood appeared on the horizon,

that old Italian bakery and small café still on the corner

near the house where my father was raised

As we, my mother and father, my sister and I,

crossed the threshold of that old store,

the aroma of sticky and sweet confections

overwhelmed my senses and I became

that five year old girl again

Trays of warm arancini and savory sausage and spinach scaciatta,

and rows of bread, the Sicilian Ring we always called “Grandpa’s Bread”

behind towers of brightly packaged pannetone, ready for Christmas

The young girl behind the counter patiently filled our orders

as we filled brown paper bags with samples of yesterday

Sfogliatelle, pasticiotti, and cannoli displayed in cases

across the room pulled us back to that other room of longer ago,

my grandmother’s kitchen on Sunday afternoons and

dessert enjoyed after plates of pasta, cutlets, and roasted peppers

If we were lucky, Jordan Almonds wrapped in small bags

A huge rum cake, ordered for my mother’s seventy-fifth birthday,

rounded out our purchases for the day and we turned to leave

I paused for a moment, with closed eyes and a happy heart

A visit to the old stomping grounds, an important reminder

of who we were when life was slower and more simple

always waiting to welcome you back with open arms



photo: mine

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6 thoughts on “Stomping Grounds

  1. Memories are made of these . . . Family, elbow-to-elbow around grandma’s dining room table, eating homemade pasta and sauce with meatballs; the aroma of homemade bread still wafting on the air; dad’s homemade wine being poured into glasses; a cacophony of voices talking and laughing between bites and spoonfuls; while baby Billy in his highchair pours his bowl of cut-up spaghetti over his head, laughing like the little clown that he was . . .

    Thanks so much for the lovely memories, MK xx

    Liked by 1 person

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