Old Money by R.A. Pavoldi

Old Money
by R.A. Pavoldi

Don’t worry doll face, what I got’s 
better ‘n money, redeemable for time 

at any blue collar near-death 
location, stashed in closets, attic 

in boxes, I got cat’s eye marbles 
chipped on Tenth Avenue, 

Tweet’s old Pinochle deck, a tied 
sack of jacks, baseball cards like 

Peppitone, LaSorda, and DiMaggio, 
I got an olive jar full of the Atlantic 

from a girl I’d never see again, 
seashells, beach glass, an’ pichers, 

sharks teeth, snake eyes, Indian 
head nickels, I got 78s and 45s, like  

Louie Prima, Harry James, 
Jimmy Roselli, and Jerry Vale, 

I got a Victrola, a Model A crank, 
shift knob, and piston, an all the old 

recipes right in my head - tarrall’, 
zepoll’ and a’ beetza gien’, I got 

cugini and coombahds - 
Johnny, Paulie, Tundi, and Nuche, 

and old billheads, Pavoldi Plumbing 
and Heating, an’ Albanese Fuel, 

campaign pins, Patsy Albanese 
for Town Counsel! and, I Like Ike! 

I got Tommaso’s sausage grinder, 
Ant’ny’s Saint Christopher medal, 

Raymo’s pipe wrenches and Ruger, 
Antoinette’s Saturday shot glass and

Madalena’s Sunday size bowl, 
I got clippings and obituaries, 

accusations, racketeers, and revenuers, 
Antonio and Innocenzo, their immigration 

papers scratched with an X, 
I got the ole man’s campaign ribbons 

every color of the South Pacific, 
my mother’s yearbook and tassel, 

and you on our weddin’ day baby 
twirlin’ like a petal in a smokestack, 

don’t worry you married down Toots, 
I know a ting or two ‘bout a ting or two, 

I still got a couple tree aces  
up my sleeve, 

when that last day comes high rolling puddin’  
I’m ready to deal, 

I got 500 clams baby, 
I got a bucket o’ Smack-a-Roooz.

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R. A. Pavoldi is a self-trained poet writing over 50 years.

His poems have published in The Hudson Review, North American Review, Italian Americana, FIELD, Cold Mountain Review, Crab Orchard Review, ARS MEDICA, Tar River Poetry, Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, among others.

He credits the concise lyrical Napolitano-American dialect and the school of hard knocks for his voice.

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