In His Image
The birthmark stretched,
sunning itself under his
left arm, quite proud of
its bronze color.
Lee couldn't decide if it
looked like a tiny hand,
or possibly a shamrock?
Pamela couldn't decide, either.
But this she knew, the blood of
their ancestor billowed
against the planed cheek of this grandson,
as the pinned sails of Captain Messina's
ship had arched under the
eastern winds, the pride of the
Italian Navy ages ago.
Those long legs of autumn
caught themselves in the
blue and white checkered kitchen
curtains, a golden white cast
thrown like the loaf of French
bread upon the wooden table.
Lee and his grandmother talked,
he held the ornate candlesticks holders,
from Florence, home of
Captain Messina, the silver tones like the
shell of a sunflower seed, straight and gray.
In his blue coat pocket,
his fingers traced the Italian Navy
insignia on the gold cigarette lighter.
The supper of clams and white wine
caught the attention of the water birds,
bread crumbs flung from
the railing of the lighthouse.
Hours later, and minutes too late,
the tires tossed the gravel
up into the damp air, looking like
sparkling confetti in the wedge of
light from the lighthouse.
"And that's why I was late, sir".
As dusk, like a lilac fog, settled
this November evening,
the shore wore a shawl of milky mist.
Pamela Lancaster opened the dusty book,
from the attic, reading the diary
of Captain Messina,
as he had written within the
tossing of his grand ship, red stars
looking over his hunched shoulders.
and she read by the light of the
wax candles, from Lee,
the yellow beads welding themselves
to the pewter candleholders.