What I Was Leaving – Carla Scarano D’Antonio 

What I was Leaving

In the distracted pale sun 
shadows hide,
leaves gather in burning rust and ochre, 
streaks mark the skin red:
I love their way of dying.

You can feel it unexpectedly
parking the car at the supermarket
or driving home from work.

Before the weather changes
into mist and dim light,
the trees turn gold and vermillion
purple and burnt sienna.

Now it’s there
a few days later it’s gone,
like an improbable scenario. 

Sumac leaves stand out 
in the Carnival glow of outstretched branches
like Indian feathers dancing their rituals,
burning inside.

Red and yellow dilute
shadows I attempt to embrace
three times in vain.
Come back from the dead
luggage of junk
digesting the past.

The street ahead is ruddy red
soft like camel coat
shifting under my feet.

The trees above are giants’ cocktail sticks tracing the sky,
gathered by an imaginary hand
in a Picking-Up-Sticks game; 
they slip and quiver under my touch

I pace the surface with light steps
longing to rewind.

Still glowing the sun in the blue sky
though it’s chilly at night.
The full moon is ricotta cheese in a sea of blueberry juice.
Now I cook leek and potato soup,
chick peas with rosemary and garlic
and tiny pasta shells,
or rice with lentils, some drops of olive oil before serving.
Their scent warms the house in reassuring airy blankets;
we walk through it as if it’s all we have longed for.
Spoonfuls fill our stomach – we won’t starve tonight – 
while we watch the news side by side;
the soup mashes in our mouths
tasting of childhood minestrone rich with curved macaroni, 
our southern persistence beyond ourselves 

About the contributor

Carla Scarano D’Antonio obtained her Degree of Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Lancaster University. She self-published a poetry pamphlet, A Winding Road, and is working on a PhD on Margaret Atwood at the university of Reading. She also contributes as an Editor at Large to The Blue Nib magazine and as a reviewer for London Grip, Write Out Loud, South and The Temz review. She and Keith Lander won the first prize of the Dryden Translation Competition 2016 with translations of Eugenio Montale’s poems.

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