SCRAPS OF LIFE by ”-Professore-” Anthony D’Alessandro

May the 12t: the Mother’s Day. For this occasion we have republished a poem by Prof. Anthony D’Alessandro,  a Sicilian-American about his sainted Mazzarese mother.

The following poem,”Scraps of Life,”  was published in 2010 by the anthology, SWEETLEMONS 2. It is composed of International writings with a Sicilian accent…



I stretch back, wrapped like as mummy as this jetliner

slashes and shimmies thru ebony clouds

on its way to my tropical future.

Just a demitasse ago, I’d taken my last steps in my mamma’s home.

The riot of colors remained, but rivers of family photographs vanished

and, although the contour remained the same,

my mother’s flaking home felt like an alien house.

Gone forever her contagious laughter.

Gone forever the tantalizing aromas of secret sauces

wafting thru its dollhouse rooms.

Today’s former relatives seem as closely related to me

as the fellow straphangers I’d just abandoned on the city subway.

A smog of shame, however, smeared the relations and

rendered them like unmade beds.

As seamlessly as mom’s heart bonded the family,

it dissolved with her paralyzed pulse.


Her intense love blinded me to our furbu and flawed family tree.

No doubt she would loathe today’s seemingly polite estrangement.

My memory leaks past scenes through its landscape of life’s clips.

I remember mother’s knarled hands comforting

the boy me thru three bouts of pneumonia.

In leaner times, I remember that same woman giving me

her last morsel of food.

I remember that daughter of Dante introducing me to poesia.

I complained to my children that scavengers swallowed all scraps

and remnants of her life at the beginning of her final sleep.

I complained about the ant-like army of pretentious societal darlings,

G-d fearing blood, but not soul mates.

Surely, mamma witnessed thru lazy, tired and aged eyelids these

slobbering occupiers collecting and stripping my memories from walls and drawers.

No surprise in this society fueled by illusion.

I’d seen sinners sanctified before.

Brandishing the refreshing wisdom of youth,

my son said, “Dad, let go. She lives in your words.”




About SWEET LEMONS 2 ANTHOLOGY, (International writings with a Sicilian accent), 2010
This is an anthology of short stories, poems and essays by writers and poets with a Sicilian background living in the United States, Canada and elsewhere. The texts deal with “Sicelitude” and the authors’ coming to grips with their Sicilian identities.

F. Anthony D'Alessandro
F. Anthony D'Alessandro
D'Alessandro retired from a 30 plus-year teaching career in New York State. For twenty-five years, he served as a high school newspaper advisor. For several years, he acted as an associate editor for the now defunct, Italo-American Times. A former "Educator of the Year," he recently retired from his position as Coordinator of Student Teachers for the University of Central Florida, and an adjunct professor at Valencia College.

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  1. My heart leapt for joy when I read a wonderful, sensitive, loving poem by my longtime friend; fellow educator, Tony D. I have known him for 25 years; he often sprinkled his stories with poignant references to his Sicilian mother. She guided Tony through her life of love, sacrifice, parental wisdom. Tony’s writing exemplifies his lifelong concern for family friends. Bravo!!

  2. Beautiful, heartfelt, compassionate poem. We were so impressed with it that we adopted it for our own deceased mother and turned it into a posthumous Mother’s Day tome which was very much appreciated by we “Kids!”

  3. Uno statunitense nelle cui vene scorre sangue siciliano che sente il bisogno di conoscere le sue origini, dove affondano le sue radici. Buon sangue non mente e la terra d’origine ha sempre un richiamo incredibile…( sono sentimenti che prova chi ci vive lontano) lo dimostra il profumo inconfondibile che lui percepisce nella casa materna…la casa dell’infanzia a cui è legato che con le sue parole continua a farla vivere. Cu lu linguaggiu di stu to pajsi,
    sunari po’ l’arpa eternamenti,
    paroli chi li trovi prisi prisi,
    ti li lassaru ‘ndota la to genti…
    Complimenti…è stato un piacere conoscerti…sentiamoci tramite Facebook Un caro saluto Gian Paolo

    • Professore Buffa,
      Thank you for your kind words. They delivered sparkle and joy to my day.Any skill that I possess with the written word comes from G-d, il Santo Spirito, and, on this earth…it’s directly attributable to my sainted Mazarese mother, Giuseppina LoMonaco D’Alessandro.
      She always warned me to be sincero and not furbu and to scrivere la verita e con lu cuore.
      grazie, and, as she frequently said, “ussa benedica.”
      please excuse my dialetto, it is a 100 year old Sicilian dialect. my mother taught it to me when she was in her 40’s(here in the USA,my first lingua), since I was her last born picciariddru, if you will, io era un sbaglio.
      Ciao, lu professore senza classe(accomora)

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