The Sorrowful Sweetness of Christmas Eve
Poem by Marisa Frasca
Before the octopus goes full into the old pot, three quick-dips in boiling water with bay leaf. One the Father, two the Son, three the Holy Ghost. We thank the slimy creature for its sacrifice. Eight purple tentacles, each a mini brain, shrink beyond recognition for a Sicilian feast. My mother used to skin, cut and season the salty-sweet flesh in olive oil, lemon, peperoncino. The whole house smelled of ceremony. I form the same rituals on the mollusk with high IQ. My mother had no clue the octopus had any brains. I am not caught unaware. Deep is the need to keep my mother's hands in motion. Isn't ritual, repetition, a returning to nourishment? I am the daughter; the storage of remembrance.
Poet and translator, Marisa Frasca is the author of two poetry collections: VIA INCANTO (Bordighera, 2014) and WILD FENNEL (Bordighera, 2019).