Carol Leavitt Altieri


Hyacinth-colored eyes, like your father's
soul-mate; sister, wife, mother
and daughter, your father's and my

Thoughtful woman who threaded
one needle after another to excel
and helped save hundreds of acres
of farm land.

I would have crawled in the casket
with you and traded the rest
of my life and kingdom
for you alive.

When I saw your mutilated body
in purple cut-up dress to cover the scars
in the white satin coffin, I kissed
your once beautiful face covered in powder
and caressed your brown-blond hair.

I knew it was only your frame and you
weren't there.
Such rich blood once swirled through
your veins, now drained.

Your melodies once sweetened
the air waves
from your small hands
playing the piano
folded in prayer now.

Your back and bosom that I cradled when young
smoothed and unnatural.
I embraced your body
that had a will of its own gracefulness.

Its stillness like the land under the oaks
where they buried you reflects
your once consciousness.

My darling, you are everywhere you walked
climbed, hiked and skied. My stunned body
and scrapes on rock-spread trails.

Carol Leavitt Altieri
Madison, Connecticut
CAROL LEAVITT ALTIERI, 72, Madison, Connecticut, is a retired science/language arts teacher. She is author of three books of poetry and recipient of the State of Connecticut's “Green Circle Award” for environmental stewardship. She has two children, five grandchildren. Her sun sign is Scorpio.