Potenza

you survived earth’s knee
quaking seismicity over and
over again shaking tremors
shuddered scared ground

blood pooled because of
futile resistance to greedy
boogiemen who subjugated and
humiliated–damn colonizers

you rose above it 2,687 feet under
St. Gerard’s watchful eyes like amulets
sea breeze perfumed comune peering
over the Basento river valley

my ancestors inhaled here made
love here cradled generations here
worked cried died here

all I hold are some color splashed
travel brochures that say your food
is rustic your pottery traditional
your cashmere beautiful

we have yet to meet but when we do
I will love you, wear you, live you

Pamela A. Rossow

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18 thoughts on “Potenza”

  1. Ah, what good ancestors you must have to stir up such creativity. You’ll have to go there and touch your soul to your roots. Your poem is beautiful and now I want to go also.

  2. Love this word picture of Potenza. A beautifully written poem that took some thought
    and is interwoven with sentiment.
    Hope you do go soon and see the place where your grandmother’s family is from.
    When you do, we’ll look forward to more great poetry.

  3. I haven’t been south of Rome. Should have cause I’m sure I would’ve been able to understand the dialect better.

    Get there and visit! your heritage is you a little…

    Cheers

  4. Italy is one of my favourite places in the world. I have yet to go to Potenza, it’s a place that has been through so much – multiple earthquakes, revolts and riots, yet, I imagine there are untold treasures to be seen here.

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