Four poems by

Anna Monardo



My Day


It’s all a big to-do. Today, 

pay bills, pay self, do  

homework for the child. Inside 

me, who wants all this 

done? Not me. I want 

sleep and resurrection. I want 

this room cleaned. Now. Mop 

it. Stop what you’re doing, empty 

the curio shelves, delve 

in with fists. Force out 

papers, known news you can  

tear and toss; turn 

it over to God where he lives 

in the dumpster down the street. 





is this thing, not that 

it matters how long you work 

the system will find you, as birds 

find glass doors. Take a step, then 

another. At least try. Again, lift 

your foot, galloping hoof,  

harsh mane, sleek willow 

tree of your sadness.  



Omaha Origami

Ambitious cherry blossom, 

diplomat governing  

our neighborhood, intersection 

of decision and doubt, hosta 

unfurling, pink petal rain, napkins 

of dogwood blooms soiling the lawn.  




Is There Someone 

You are tide and sea, the fish  

and float of debris, the brisket, 

banquet and bouquet, baguettes 

you nibbled from the stroller 

on Paris streets, the rolling                               wheels on French cement, cast you 

in the film-noir opulence of some 

memories you know and don’t know, 

remember and never knew. Every morning 

I must recall how it is: My mother, 

alive, still with us, coming to dinner 

tonight, in need of doctor, or is she 

gone? And my father? Is there someone 

I need to call or just pray for, pray 

to, pray? 

Anna Monardo’s novels, The Courtyard of Dreams and Falling In Love with Natassia, were published by Doubleday. Her memoir of her family’s immigration, “After Italy: A Memoir of Arranged Marriage,” winner of Creative Nonfiction’s Writing Pittsburgh Book Prize, has been excerpted in Creative Nonfiction, Hotel Amerika, Cimarron Review, More, and Fourth Genre. She teaches in the Writer’s Workshop of the University of Nebraska at Omaha..