Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Guardians of the House"

This poem came out of the December 3, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from kelkyag.  It also fills the "home" square in my 11-26-13 card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles.  This poem belongs to the series Fiorenza the Wisewoman.

Guardians of the House

Fiorenza dusts the little shrine
with its fresco of two lares 
flanking the family genius.

Here too are the tiny clay figures
that represent her ancestors.
Those of her mother and grandmother
are worn smooth from fond handling
where her skin has left behind a warm patina.

These things came with the cottage,
with the family, with the history
of Italy reaching back into mist and myth.

Fiorenza has, too,
a rosary of fine beads
made from rose-petal paste
and a cross of silver filigree.

She does not mind asking God
to grant forgiveness
or watch over the gryphons

but when there is a mouse in the pantry
it's the little household gods
whom Fiorenza beseeches to shoo it outside.

* * *


Lares  are guardian gods from Italian culture.  They encompass a range of ancestral and local spirits, traditionally given space in each home.  A lar familiaris  protects a house and family.

A genius  is an individual spark of divine nature present in a person, family, place, etc.  The paterfamilias  overlaps with the genius  of a family.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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