1. The two fingers, down, ward off evil; up, to curse or watch your wife, she’s cheating

2. The one in the middle, ward off evil 

3. And on the end; the horned god Faunus known for his wild nature in futility 

Being of Italian descent 

I am here to present 

Words of old 

That my grandparents told 

To the American world at large 

Whether they came ashore by boat or barge (lower or upper class)

Their precious ‘words’ they inherited 

Long before America was their dream, their hope 

Their ‘words’ that never dispirited 

Their ancient day scope 

If you’re from an Italian family at birth 

You learn quickly, from the moment you’re on earth 

The Momma’s, the Nonna’s would gather 

All the ‘words’ that mattered 

Especially, when parading you, in a carriage, down the street or road Now, if you know Italian history, from old 

It’s no mystery, not even cold, more like bold 

They, the parents, the Nonno & Nonna’s, too 

Love parading their new arrival out on review 

But, God forbid, don’t ‘overlook’ 

The child whose given too much flattery 

With ‘words’ that sound like vanity 

You, the viewer, may spot a Cross, or a medal of Mary 

No, it’s not scary, protection from the wary 

The child is shrouded in religiosity 

Or just yesteryear ideas of sentimentality! 

Whether it was a red or gold pepper, white ball of garlic 

Mary’s medal or gold Cross, it wasn’t a frolic 

It was a display of great concern 

Which they, our relatives learned 

It was ‘good luck’ (Cornicelli) 

Victory over the devil 

On every level 

And, remember too,” the Malocchio” 

For the headache that would ensue 

They had a remedy for that, too 

A bowl of water, a door key or a Cross 

They were never at a loss 

Drops of Oil on the water; like drops of paint from the artist’s brush but ‘zitto’ (quiet) With a sign of the Cross and a with a prayer and care 

Portrayed an image, like an Artist’s brush on a pallet 

“Godforbid” if the oil spread, it was like a shot to the head with a mallet 

“Don’t underestimate the wisdom of ancestors” 

African Proverb

But if the drops of oil stayed in tiny circles with a clear view You were deemed safe, no headaches, your head as good as new That’s the Power of yesterday’s Italian WORDS and it seems fair Whether performed with an old fashioned wish and care Garlic, a ‘red pepper’ or water & oil or a key said with a prayer You say, ‘mystery’ 

And they, of old say it’s homegrown history 

I have taken yesteryears ideas and have made claim To today’s fortunes that have brought them fame 

At crowded street fairs and feasts 

To say the least 

The Jewelers, the vendors and the spendors 

The travelers who visit the cities of old 

From whence my forefathers came, oh, so bold 

I gather these thoughts, these words which I’ve been told With relevance and reverence 

I am the keeper of the adventurous, the brave 

And all the ‘words’ and ideas they gave 


“Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered” 

My Ancestors 

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