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Joanna M Leone

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Italian American Rainbow in the Piazza
by Joanna M Leone
Monday, June 02, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Sometimes, on a rainy day, or even when you are feeling down, something beautiful appears....when you least expect it!


“Rainbow in the Piazza” (in San Donato Val Di Comino, Italy)

Joanna M. Leone

This poem is dedicated to my mother, Antonetta Fabrizio Leone. My mother is, and always will be, the great Chef, healer, maloccio specialist, and protector of all Italian traditions in our home. 


The rain danced on the window, as it formed tiny rivers on the crystal glass;

Gray, satin sheets slowly crawled in the sky over the emerald green hills as the children ran from the streets into their homes, or under the canopes of the café doorways to hide from the storm.

Men and women ran to close the green or brown shutters of their windows, as the street vendors covered their carts with plastic, and closed the flea market early.

As I watched the golden reflection of the car headlights beating down on the black tar, I saw pink, blue and green umbrellas moving quickly; footsteps getting faster and faster!

The bakers in the Panifico closed their doors, only to leave the aroma of the fresh pizza traveling down the road.

As I turned the old key into the wooden door, I felt warmth in the house, and protected from the waterfalls in the sky.

The only sound I was able to hear was the ticking of the clock on the old walls of the house.

I gained comfort from the oranges and grapes in my grandmother’s old, glass fruit bowl that sat on top of her pink tablecloth with rose designs.

Many cars and buses passed by the house as I went to the gas stove to make espresso.

I remembered my grandmother and my mother making espresso in the old fashioned, aluminum, espresso coffee pot.

As I slowly reached for the delicate espresso cup, I truly felt at home, and protected from the storm.

Since there was not any time to buy the fresh bread or prosciutto in the market today, I decided to reach for the left over ricotta pie on the counter.

San Donatese truly know how to make ricotta pie, with chocolate.

There truly was not a need for groceries today, as all I needed was the ricotta pie and espresso.

All of my senses were awakened by my San Donatese meal.

Since the old television was not working, I went to the old bookshelf, as a good book on a rainy day in San Donato is a great way to relax.

What was there to read on this rainy day? Glamour or Cosmopolitan magazines left from other family members that had used the house months before my arrival? A collection of San Donatese poems? A book about Ferraris?

I had decided to clean the dust off the collection of San Donetese poems as I layed on my grandparents’ couch.

The branches of the apple tree threw its arms violently in the wind, as I noticed the leaves of the fig tree sparkle as the rain fell as I looked out of the window.

Suddenly, the sounds of the rain faded, and the golden sun fought its way through the gray satin sheets in the sky.

The people in town began to come out of their homes, and escaped to the piazza for the fresh air after the storm.

The wet geraniums on the balconies stood tall, and the children gathered their brightly colored toys and blue bicycles for their journey back to the piazza;

Some children knew exactly which flavor of gelato they wanted to order, as if they had been thinking about it during the storm.

The bell towers chanted, one, two, three, four... it was four o’clock, as I saw some of the women dressed in black walk toward the cemetery with bouquets of yellow and red flowers.

The men enjoyed a game of cards as they drank wine, and their wives headed to the local butcher to prepare for the evening meals, or as they headed over to a neighbors' house to catch up on the latest town gossip, or to borrow some basil leaves for their pesto sauce.

There were smiles from everyone in the piazza as the San Donatese came to greet me, some remembering me and my family from my prior vacations; others introduced themselves warmly, asking me for my family name.

This truly is a “home away from home”.

I heard my name from a distance, and it was my friend, Luca Leone (no relation to me, just a very good friend) coming to take a walk with me.

Suddenly, we looked up at the sky, and we both saw the gold, amber, and scarlet leaves on the trees beyond the piazza.

November had brought me the gift of the beautiful autumn colors.

My heart felt joy as I saw the true colors of San Donato!

Then, suddenly, we could not believe what we saw, and the moment is carved in my brain.

There it was!

A ribbon of aqua, light blue, pink, yellow, and orange that extended from my friend, Giuseppe Antonellis' window to the window of the house that my father, Donato Leone, grew up in, which was on Via Belfiore.

The rainbow of San Donato Val Di Comino was the most beautiful array of colors that I had ever seen in my life, and it truly reminded me of the special memories that will always be locked in my heart.

The colors of San Donato are colors that remind us of our family ties, and the special friends there that greet us each and every time that we visit, as if no time had passed at all.

















Joanna M. Leone Rainbow in the Piazza

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Reviewed by Douglas Bentley

You have captured a timeless moment.
Superbly done.
I just love all the pictures you add.
Makes me feel as if I'm there
Walking down the streets.
All those faces to greet.
All those people to meet.

Reviewed by ann leone (Reader)
I am very proud of you. Keep writing and don't let anything stop you.

A. Leone
Mom (aka "mama)
Reviewed by Edwin Hurdle
You are a fabulous and amazing writer.Thank you for sharing your gorgeous and beautiful Italian culture and the memories.It is a treat reading your works,take care

Reviewed by Daniel Marino (Reader)
A beautiful tour of your grandmother's house and so many traditions were found in her house. Lovely story.
Reviewed by S H (Reader)
I like this. The only memory I have with my Italian culture is my grandma, so I like the grandma part the best!
Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain

Love the image as it enhances one gorgeous poetic write . . . beautiful and exceptionally crafted work here!!


Reviewed by Kenny Baez
What a beautiful word painting of an Italian scene. I'm from a Scottish/Irish background, we get rainbows and a lot of rain.

I've been to Venice, and the Veneto, three times and it just amazed me.

Best wishes! Ciao! kenny
Reviewed by Cryssa C
You paint beautiful pictures with your imagery...
Reviewed by debra bacchi (Reader)
hi Joanna!
remember me from the other night at Border's poetry slam in Fairfield! just stopping by the author's den to check out your work- i love it!
i think you are very talented and paint a beautiful picture with your words!
keep up the great work!

ps i took your advice and signed up for the site
thanks for the information
keep in touch!
-debra bacchi
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson
You brought me there with your wonderful like a film. Excellent work.
Reviewed by S Phillips
Ah, how vivid. The aroma, the colors, the feel and closeness of it all--fantastic!
Reviewed by Liana Margiva
Nice work!!!!!!! I have feeling like I saw that places, I did travel with your words. 'The rain danced on the window, as it formed tiny rivers on the crystal glass'----This is very beautiful sentence!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by Approximately Naive
Life is in the blood of your vivid, story telling style of writing. Each stanza represents a story in itself yet is connected seamless like to the whole tapestry of the biography depicted.
'no time had passed at all' In other words, left untouched by the ravages of spreading cultural cloning that stems from the superficial, the identity of the life honed village remains the same while it is we that change.
May your pot of memories continue to overflow at the foot of the glorious rainbow.


Reviewed by Brandon Petit
I like how you just kept going and going... it allowed me to get lost in the poem; lost in the details and descriptions. I love the atmosphere you portrayed of an old Italian town and the sights and scents involved... a great setting for a poem and a great place to be. I like the part about "footsteps getting faster" to describe the people hurrying to beat the rain, and the children dragging their wet toys back to the piazza. Also the shops closing and the smell of pizza, wet geraniums, the church bell... all powerful and essential elements. great read; it makes me close my eyes and long to be there.
Reviewed by John Domino
Dear Joanna,

As an Italian-American I can see and feel your passion. I love family too. Bravo!

John (Giovanni) Michael
Reviewed by Jill Eisnaugle
Hi Joanna,
Welcome to Author's Den. I love the visual imagery in this poem. Your words paint such a picture that it is easy to see the scenes you portray.
Well done!
Reviewed by J. Evans
Outstanding work!!!
J. Earl Evans
Reviewed by Lois Christensen
You and your write are something beautiful appearing to me today. I loved your travels and the aromas and the way you prepared for the meal and the good family togetherness and the way you even added the children playing to this poem. A rainbow in the sky, adds to this poem tremously and is agreat ending to a family story well told and exciting to read. i love writes about other countries and to learn as much as can be. This is excellent**********.
Reviewed by Amber Moonstone
This is such a magnificent story! I felt transformed and yearned to smell that espresso and see the beautiful rainbow that you witnessed in the Piazza. I have been to Italy three times in my life, and it is indeed heaven on earth...
Much gratitude for bringing me on this journey to Italy one more time, I wish you well, with peace, love, and light,
Amber "Vivianna"
Reviewed by Joyce Bowling
An outstanding write, you've taken the reader on a wonderful and magical journey through your memories with excellent imagery, I could feel the autumn chill on my face, vision the vibrant autumn colors, hear the rain, and smell the pesto sauce, and what beautiful images you painted with details of the rainbow! Again, an outstanding write my glad you stopped by my den earlier and invited me over to your den I have enjoyed my visit and plan to return soon! Welcome to the den...oh, I too love to cook, my passion is gardening, I love to experiment with fresh herbs and vegetable I grow...well this comes with the passion of writing, reading, teaching and quality time with my family...I love your style of writing!
Blessings from Ky.
Joyce B.
Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU

I have enjoyed the reading of "Rainbow in the Piazza". Very rich in imagery and contents. A story-poem that adds values to cultural tradition, and stimulates respect to family's ties.

I salute You, Poet.

Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
Reviewed by Axilea MU
This is like a classic movie, or a painting: something timeless and very enjoyable. A connection to you and the past.

Reviewed by Regis Auffray
You have done a masterful job of recreating the moments, the memories, the atmosphere. Thank you for sharing, Joanna. Welcome to AD. Love and best wishes,

Reviewed by Tuchy (Carl) Palmieri
bravo Joanna loene Bravo
warmest personal regards
Reviewed by Paul Berube

Outstanding write. These memories hold a special place in our hearts and will never be forgotten. Peace, Love and God's Blessings Always, Paul.
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo
Nothing like the realities of seeing a colorful rainbow to enlighten even the most gloomiest of days, well said...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Samuel Stone
A well written piece... I enjoyed the read...wishing you well..
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