Published February 7, 2014 in Words We Women Write

By Joseph Bathanti

BracioleWith the cast iron claw

hammer – burnished

silver in endless

bouts of fire, forged
in Manfredonia,

by my blacksmith
grandfather, Paolo
Battiante, arrived

at Ellis Island
on the Luisiana,
out of the province

of Foggia, 1907,
where his name
was altered, like so many,

the hammer secreted
in his tunic –
my mother pounds

on butcher block
flank steak to temper,
then lays on each softened tongue

olive oil, garlic, parsley,
salt and pepper, before
trussing them into scrolls

bound with string
from Stagno’s Bakery,
and dropping them

into the incarnadine majesty
of the sauce to roil
the rest of our lives. Amen.


1 Comment

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One response to “Braciole

  1. I love the richness of this poem! Makes me think of Joel’s grandparents and their complex, emotional heritage. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Joseph.

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