my mother’s birthday always involved her cooking

pasta nel forno with her gravy that cooked

before and after catholic mass

pork and veal meatballs with fresh grated cheese

italian parsely grown in the front yard of our south jersey home

olive olive from the italian store where tom

waited on my parents- giving them the best meat and olives and bread

81 years today my mother does not remember

what goes in her gravy

her body has outlived her mind

olive garden is our first stop

my mother’s sister orders gluten free pasta

with a bottle of wine

telling stories of her trips around the world

gold and diamond necklace glimmers in the sunlight

while my mother pushes the plate of pasta towards me

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.

i am a first generation italian-american who grew up in southern new jersey. Life is amazingly beautiful and devastating. Sometimes in the same day.