Joseph A Farina

dies irae, dies illa

through the refurbished oaken doors the pews await your return.still scarred and gum branded by us then, they remember you in another time. faint organ music fills the vast hollow of the church's nave. we assemble as the ceremony begins. you rest silent, hands clasping beads intertwined with stiff fingers, covered in crosses and signs of faith, holy water stains your pall. we shiver at your entrance. old eyes stare up and down and close as they survey the gilded saints and stained glass tall windows casting rainbows upon you and remember the living days. anointed by cleansing incense, we leave, following behind you. tonight we'll search ourselves, speak of past springs and summer reunions,  then like snow melts to water, as you become ancestral, return back to our charted lives.


running home from school , breathless 
to watch Annette and American Bandstand

my Italian angel and the devils music
in black and white and shades of grey

i dreamed of her in mousekatechnicolour
i acted out  rebellion hosted by dick clark
in monophonic glory. ate my wonderbread
and aspired to truth, justice and the american way

through frightening days of 8th grade battles
for dominance and street wise knowledge
that Sister Mary Laura never taught

through sticky nights of hardening dreams
that left me quickened and awake
with memories of my angel
smiling through the moistness of new pleasures
i accepted but did not yet understand.

Joseph A Farina is a retired lawyer in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.His  poems have appeared in Philedelphia Poets,Tower Poetry, The Windsor Review, and Tamaracks: Canadian Poetry for the 21st Century. He has two books of poetry published ,The Cancer Chronicles and The Ghosts of Water Street.

Flights. Issue One, June 2021