Guest Poet Karen Masullo

Lacryma Cristi

	(For Nicolo Masullo)

Drops of water from hard spring rains
slide down taut skin, pearling.
The sun forms prisms, rainbows in slow movement
rushing to soil.  The Italian man,
his loose shirt and summer fedora too late
to halt the browning of his well-aged body,
has no rush but to tend a weed,
train the shoot upward.  He brushes bees away
with a simple movement, removes his hat,
looks up closing one eye to see better in the brilliance;
wipes sweat from a whiter brow.  He walks his perfect aisles
in steady steps, stops to tighten knots of kitchen string.
He pauses occasionally, plucks sweet fruit,
smiles at childhood memories of similar times
and a weakness for the warm juice.
His tongue rolls over yellowed teeth as tannin dries and bites;
hints of mint and women’s spices grown for better Sunday sauces
bring a knowing nod  this one served better in the mouth
than in the wine.

October, 1998

Karen Masullo's Questions:

I'm having trouble with the following poem.

First, the title.  This is the name of a vineyard in Italy and the wine that is made. Does it need a footnote or change?

Second, I've been told the voice changes in places, particularly the close, into a *too poetic* voice. I'm not clear at this point.

Also, the repetition of He and His is driving me crazy and I don't know how to fix it! Whew!

My thanks to you all.

Correspond with Karen Masullo at
with your ideas about this poem.

The Albany Poetry Workshop