Two women


© 2010 by Tommi Avicolli Mecca


young Mexicana madre

rushing across South Van Ness

in San Francisco

holding onto a small child

whose small legs can barely 

keep up with her in the afternoon heat

three-day notice

tucked into her large black purse

a time bomb set to go off

rushing from office to office

pleading for someone anyone 

to help her detonate it 

my Italiana madre

racing down 10th street in South Philly

late mortgage payment shoved in her bag

dragging my sister and me

in the relentless August sun

that, like the bank, showed no mercy

the little money Papa made

stretched thin like dough

rolled and rolled into nothingness

two women separated 

by five decades

and three-thousand miles

suddenly blur into one


originally published in Philadelphia Poets, Volume 16, 2010