Green Hills Literary Lantern

Saturday Morning, Your Memory


Out of the gray cold,

inside the café, with a packed audience

of pastry, we settled,

my hands on loaves

and your leg, held

your stare while I ordered

cappuccinos and cannoli.


You played Annie

to my Alvie, poked fun

at the tourist guide’s black-shellac hairpiece,

polyester and Velcro shoes,

the valiant effort the waitress made

with hips, tight pants and henna.


Then, we folded at her floor show.

“Yo, Joe. A pigeon.”


“A pigeon just came in.”


“A BIRD, for Chrissakes. Pigeon. Pigeon.”

“Open the door.”

Joe, real cool from around the counter,

soccer-style shooed the bird across the threshold,

turned to us, smirked, “Stool pigeon.”


While I walked back to the hotel

I handed beggars dollars

as if it somehow atoned

for all my selfish years.





Michael A. Tempesta has been writing poetry for three decades. As a Northeastern University journalism student in 1978, he was inspired by professor and poet Joseph DeRoche. Tempesta spent 22 years as a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor. He lives on Cape Cod, where he freelances and works as a landscaper. He is inspired to write during the morning, and runs along the ocean roads. He attends Fine Arts Work Center workshops in Provincetown, and his poems have appeared in The Aurorean, Red Owl and Italian Americana.