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Rosa’s Prayer

Oh, Blessed Mother,
what must we do
to go back to Sicily?
I hide in my house.
I hide in my children.
Where is my doll by the door,
the one I set outside to receive the sun?
What has happened?
Where will my babies go?

I am so tired.
Where are my sisters?
They would share my burden.
Help me with the children.
I miss my mother.
Where is she?
We left her with her stone.
Who cuts away the weeds now?
Who tends to her on holy days?

Save my soul!
I wash my babies.
They are clean and holy.
They play and I protect their souls
to bring them to you free of sin.
Try to protect my family,
and Antonio, to find a little rest.

Did I bring that dolly with me?
No, no.
Why did I forget?
She was my joy of joys.
Little bundle of rags in the dust.
little angel with her scrap of lace.
Where are the laces my mother had?
Oh I wish I had a piece.
I would prepare a blanket from them
for my dolly.

I would not have to worry
how my children stray.
Why did we ever came to this place?
I can hide in my house, Blessed Mother.
I can keep the bastards out!
Why, oh why, are our beautiful
Sicilian men not enough?
Our beautiful girls.
Why do they marry Germans, Irish?
I pray for their souls.

Someday, Blessed Mother,
let me see the rooftops of my home again.
Let me see Papa return in his cart.
Let me hear the singing of my family
the priest moving among us with his blessings
the bread soaked in oil
the good food
the children of Sicilian blood
Antonio with the face of a boy again.
and my mother wrapping me
in her black shawl.

Forgive me, Blessed Mother,
for I have sinned.
I will say the rosary
as often as I am able,
pure mother of God.

Published inIndex of all Poems