Brooke Bognanni: Featured Poet April 2016

Article Posted in: Featured Poet

Brooke Bognanni poetryBrooke Bognanni holds BAs in Writing and Psychology, and a Master’s in Writing. An AWP member, she is an Associate Professor of English and head of Creative Writing at CCBC-Essex. Featured in The Los Angeles Review and Italian Americana, her book, Morning Glories, published by Red Hen Press, was largely inspired by living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, USA.





~ for my father


The road twists,

an arthritic hand.

Rounding the bend of the wrist,

the eye reels:

Forsythia sprawling the fringe for miles–

Sun through yellow petals

Blinding against the glass windshield,

Announcing spring’s arrival like a brass trumpet.

The road straightens;

the way clears.

A buck and his mate graze early this day.

In the rearview mirror,

Their image fades

Until there is nothing left but




Departure: MeMe’s Elegy

“The sky is flesh.”

–Jane Mendelshon


Outside this austere window, December grows weary.

Flurries begin to blow like shavings of her every year.

Skin flakes under my hands, lightly rubbing lotion

on her limbs, as if Aveeno could whitewash

her aubergine arms—laces of leukemia

burning long lengths of skin like the Atomic Bomb.


Snow, heavy now, is a gauzy wedding veil,

Over my uncle, hand’s wringing—

Bells tolling out their forty years;

He is wearing cancer’s lonely cloak.


Someone has brought her yellow bird,

caged by the door and peeping

against the hush of darkness;

It is deep into the nine o’clock hour.


Her ambrosial soul hovers over its body;

Arms and face and night begin to clear, resplendent.

Flakes fall like her ashes,

washing over what ails all of us.




Farmer’s Market, Friday


One of Hemingway’s women—

Bountiful, hair flowing from the dark side of the moon

Stands in the September sun, fine lines like dirt roads

leading away from her umber eyes that deny her years—


The man with the cart approaches Margherita familiarly,

Unloading tomatoes, potatoes, pears–

And wipes away silvery beads from his brow;

His red kerchief dusty and moist with toil.


Suburban wives with leather bags

Pour from white SUVs with full tanks,

Collecting organics for their dinner parties

And look beyond Margherita, pockets heavy with change,


To the fruit they finger with bull-red nails,

Searching for the perfect vegetable,

Grumbling disdain at the least imperfection

And move on to the next stall.


Mi fa male la testa,

she whispers to the man with the cart.


Si. And I know just what she means.


Her ivory apron fluttering like a flag in the breeze.



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