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,

Pamela's 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.