Lighting a match to the Thousand Photographs


They Tell Me

by Gianna Patriarca

                                                                              “it is time to be old”  

                                                                                            Ralph Waldo Emerson

the time has come

without invitation


to be pushing grandchildren

on park swings

putting high heel shoes in boxes

for the Goodwill


clearing out closets

lighting a match to the

thousand photographs


leaving things clean


so sons and daughters will not

have to deal with the clutter.


unrealized dreams

essentially unnecessary

in the end

they tell me


there are no grandchildren

and the child says

“mother get a dog”


dogs frighten me


i will pack up the shoes


dusty toys

empty the drawers of things

just things


but the photographs

are still proof

it all happened

the way i remember it


they will have to burn



About Author

Gianna Patriarca

Gianna is an award-winning author of eight books of poetry, a children’s book, and a collection of short fiction. Her work is extensively anthologized, adapted for Canada Stage and CBC radio drama. Her books appear on the courselist of numerous universities in Canada, USA, and Italy and are featured in four documentaries. Italian Women and Other Tragedies is in its 4th printing and has been translated into Italian. Her latest publication All My Fallen Angelas, was published by Inanna Publications in 2016. She is currently completing a collection of poetry, Time to be Old, and continues to work on her novel, The Sicilian’s Bride.

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