Lucia

I was born woman.

They say my eyes were very bright

and they called me Lucia,

the one who gives light.

The fisherman leave early in the morning,

on fragile boats.

The women wave their hands from the pier.

They don’t know when the men will return.

Every night,

when the moon and the stars

are the only lights,

all the women of town gather on the pier again

and sing to the asters,

invoke them to guide their men home.

My father was proud of me.

Two hours after the birth

he threw a bottle of anisette

on the door of the house

to wash the newborn with sweetness and good luck.

She was a princess,

her eyes the most beautiful of the island,

the kingdom of her father the richest.

When the armed men broke into the walls of the city

she was found brushing her hair

by the window on the water.

He loved her at once

and offered her the life of her father

and the kingdom.

She refused.

He took her eyes,

her hair,

burned down the city and left the island again.

Bats are blind.

They travel through night without candles.

I was born woman,

they call me Lucia,

but the journey is a long one

and the lighthouse still far.

–Lucia Casalinuovo, Italy

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