Puccini, in Those Days

One of my poems recently appeared in an anthology of work inspired by music, published by The Poetry Box. This is a literary journal based in Portland, Oregon.They held a launch on November 13, 2016.

Read it here:

Puccini, in those days.

 

Even when I was a toddler, I loved my Puccini.

Pooo chee nee. Pooo chee nee.

“She wants to come for a listen” Grandfather would say, yielding to my

outstretched hands.

While the rest of the family sat around the dinner table, everyone nursing the strong LaVazza, the women (in those days) refilling the cups,

I’d be carried out to the living room, to the velvet sofa, to the rows of records lining the walls.

“What’s that? “Grandpa would ask, pointing to his ancient Victrola,its bulbous cornucopia, the little dog logo.

Pooo chee nee. Pooo chee nee,

Grandpa would put a record on, newly vinyl (in those days) and we’d settle in. He’d put one arm around me like a shawl, the thin smoke of his Camel cigarette curling through my hair, the smell of tobacco mingling with baby powder. I’d stick my thumb in my mouth and fall asleep.

Later, at eight or nine, I looked forward to the same ritual, Grandpa and I on the sofa, Puccini between us like an old friend.

By then, I knew every scratch, every hesitation,

the crescendo of poor Butterfly left waiting,

the minor key of Mimi coughing in the night,

the arpeggios of longing and loss.

Sometimes the old man would close his eyes and doze,

not even awakening when the record needle began to wander towards the paper label.

Tosca’s last leaping cry just a whisper in his mind.

By then, I’d learned to gingerly take Puccini off the spindle by myself, and place him back in his cardboard sleeve, like tucking in a child for the night.

I’d tiptoe out of the room, my heart a little wider, the world a little softer. (In those days).

 

 

Published by

Gabriella Brand

Gabriella Brand is a writer, adventurer, and educational consultant. She can't stop teaching and learning foreign languages. She would like to walk on all the continents (three more to go!). Her husband is extremely patient and her children are, fortunately, all grown up.

3 thoughts on “Puccini, in Those Days”

  1. So enjoyed reading your wonderful poem about Puccini and your grandfather. Puccini has always been a favorite, and in my golden youth, I sang some of his arias, for fun and for performances. (We even had a cat named Puccini. )One of Bob’s best moments in life, was sitting at Puccini’s piano in Torre del Lago, and one of his funniest memories was seeing Tosca ,in Florence, jump of the parapet to her death and bounce back into view! Thanks, Gabriella, for sharing some of your special memories. Louise

    From: Gabriella Brand….Wordsmith To: lciulla@yahoo.com Sent: Monday, December 5, 2016 2:33 PM Subject: [New post] Puccini, in Those Days #yiv1924300703 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1924300703 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1924300703 a.yiv1924300703primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1924300703 a.yiv1924300703primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1924300703 a.yiv1924300703primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1924300703 a.yiv1924300703primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1924300703 WordPress.com | Gabriella Brand posted: “One of my poems recently appeared in an anthology of work inspired by music, published by The Poetry Box. This is a literary journal based in Portland, Oregon.They held a launch on November 13, 201…Source: Puccini, in Those Days” | |

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