Poetry by Renée M. Sgroi – 7/17

To a poet in old Havana

soy poeta
cigarette dangles blue words rapidly
through trembling lips

soy poeta
image unwrapping, sliding noisy
tourists’ passing:
Obispo street

soy poeta
inscribing being marks self’s
own purpose, listening

soy poeta
in another square, the
revolution, polemic flight
or fight, ideals igualmente
that have left you

hungry poor, reciting here,
the only meaning that remains:
soy poeta

Originally published in Crossing Baldwin (2013), The Ontario Poetry Society

Drift (after Souster’s “The Six Quart Basket”)

she watched snow fall

a bushel cracking
its rounded wood agape,

collecting winter’s fruit
her children sang another
silent night

caught in seasons
away from chores
beckoning back to boiling pots
and baking chops—

not imagining,
one day her frozen face
in photos,     captured,
trembling body,
its own surprise of winter:

a fragile oak leaf
scatters fringes
across a broken basket

mute, alone
slowly filled with snow

Originally published in The Banister, Niagara Poetry Anthology, Vol. 31, with an honourable mention

Birth Scar

the grotesque grin carved on me—
birth scar

not visible from
hospital classes, maternity
pamphlets, instructive videos

reflects at me permanent
marking diabolical intent,
the surgeon’s scalpel

the dirty laundry like newborn children,
irons our lives of misbegotten habits
useless flaws,      and childbirth,
our morpho moment emerging
electric blue from prior chrysalis

they forgot you, birth scar

now pink and tired
with every passing
birthday candled party,
my journey companion,
my smiling sin

Originally published in Verse Afire, (2014), vol. III, no. 2, The Ontario Poetry Society

IMGP3270 (5)IMGP3270 (5)

Renée M. Sgroi is a poet, writer, and educator, and current president of the Brooklin Poetry Society. She is also secretary of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR), and a member of the Association of Italian Canadian Writers (AICW). Her work has appeared in Canadian poetry journals such as Verse Afire, The Banister, and Prairie Journal. She is currently writing a chapbook focused on desire, and is polishing a fiction manuscript about identity. You can tweet her @ReneeMSgroi.

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