I climb the steep path
to the stone house
where my father and his father
lived before me,
where ancient olive trees still grow.
I press the trees’ bounty into oil.
My daughters and sisters cook,
the aroma filling the house
with memories of recipes
handed down from mothers to daughters.
My eldest daughter married at seventeen,
bore five children.
The grave of her youngest, Pietro,
is in the cemetery next to my wife, Sofia.
My middle daughter
carves a small toy each week,
lays flowers on her mother’s grave,
every Sunday after Mass,
a carved toy on her nephew’s.
My youngest daughter
tends the garden,
tomatoes, basil, peppers, onions,<