Little Christmas, as it used to be known,
January 6 of the Julian Calendar,
though who remembers why?
What irony that on the day of the Epiphany,
when the newborn Christian savior was revealed to three wise men,
the U.S. Capitol was assaulted by barbarians
in the name of a deceiver!
Some were simply servants of the Lie,
She died in a bus shelter outside the CVS.
A few blocks down, bunching traffic, congesting the neighborhood for hours,
before filing out, quiet and dark. We were left to wonder just what all the lights and sirens had been about.
And then the morning after, it was gone.
JC Decaux, paid millions, power washed it clean: Sidewalk, bench, and an ad for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Vito Marcantonio’s old campaign posters sit in the glass cases at the cultural center.
His cocked eyebrow and raised fist bring the fire of radicalism surging around him.
At the festa the elder right wing Italians eye his picture nervously,
craning their necks over the bottles of wine to look at the display from their table.
by Renzo Marcheschi
Translated from the Italian by Elena Marcheschi
Chicago, Dicembre 1969
Son qui a pensar solo soletto
alla mi’ cara Lucca e al paesetto.
La vita lontan dal tu’ paese è sempre dura
ed ogni giorno di più mi manca la mi’ città e le su’ mura.
Ci sono, è vero, qui tanti paesani,
vivon ad uscio, ma è come se fossero trecento Kilometri lontani.
Una volta di tanto li trovi, in generale,
ad uno sposalizio o ad un funerale.