|Prospect Heights Brooklyn - Cataldo's is behind the van|
Brooklyn's "Rooster" poll
It's a world I've little experience,
Vito's and Salvatore's old world Sicily
of simmering sauces, brick oven pizzas -
where classic marinara and meatballs
compete for attention beside Penne Alla Vodka
and stuffed artichokes.
My mother was a traditional American cook:
roast beef, casseroles, Friday night TV dinners,
the dreaded stuffed green & red peppers.
We sisters quarreled over clothes,
but seldom swore, never hit.
Males were few; no brothers. Cats, dogs,
goats, horses, chickens - mostly female -
alone strutted the noisy, opinionated rooster.
Sitting within Cataldo's warm, red bricked,
closely seated interior, I watch the lunch crowd
amble in: blue collar men - construction, security guards,
road assistance - is my guess and I'm reminded
of the farmyard cock of my youth.
Chests don't puff and wings don't flap,
but arms and hands do half their talking.
Boisterously joust, punch or slap a back,
compare prowess on video games,
spout political views - Trump's their man...
and I'm taken aback. The primaries have just begun
and Donald's ...
I look closer. Calloused hands. Sincere hearts
(I can tell these men are Mama's boys)
and a bravery that underlies words.
I may be projecting stereotypical ideals,
but dedication and honor from men such as these
are often first to march off to protect hearth & home.
As a salty Margarita tingles my tongue,
I smile as the waitress sassily reprimands the crowd
(who apologize swiftly), and absorb this nostalgic
Italian diner, (feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland)
and ponder if I've glimpsed the future.
by Margaret Bednar, November 17, 2016
linked with "dVerse Poets Pub - Open Link Night #184"
I keep harking back to this memory ... I adore NYC - the diversity of people and languages, the mix of white and blue collar, the food (the FOOD!) the parks built by Frederick Law Olmsted... I love visiting. But the first time I visited two years ago... it was a bit of a culture shock - not in a negative way but just a LOT to take in. Even now, I am happy to stay a week or two and return home to my mountains. But I'm always soon longing to go back to visit my son and the big city.
The lunch at the Italian restaurant has been ingrained in my mind. I realize most of these men most likely did not go to college, are hard working men - I overheard some were working two and three jobs - they supported people in need - I heard them talking about a fund raiser for a buddy who had hit hard times... compassionate, boisterous, loud - and men who love to laugh and swear. I couldn't help but adore them - and they were voting Trump.