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Red Room
Photo "Red Room" Copyright © Paolo Campisi, Sicilian Family Productions, All Rights Reserved

Red Room

Living in a room eight by ten,
twenty six years ago and now,
now and again.
Between my children, first and last,
an oasis today, a prison of past,
two miles and two sisters between them.
A door leading from a daughter
to a door leading to a son,
three old enough to be his mother,
he young enough to be their own.

Once an empty room in a dirty house that I did not own.
Today a place that I can hide in a house I don’t belong.
A porthole into the world,
with windows to all places and things,
touching those I was imprisoned from,
hearing sounds probated from my ears,
touched by love on the streets of Black America,
traveling to China and the Far East,
where words I write the World can see,
words finding their way, someday, to Ulysses.

This room led me to Ulysses,
traveling the world,
seeking the birth,
child of my Odyssey.
Many times touching death
to see your face.
Your young feet walked across
the bedding on my prison floor.
Together we looked through the porthole
into the vastness of the worlds,
matrix of the infinite
universe of all,
and dreams,
touching the water,
naming the fish in the streams,
sharing the child-like fantasies
that make men, young and old.

A room where I taught you to say your name,
lifted you up and made you laugh,
kissed your face,
showed you a father's love,
defended you,
dreamed of your life as a man,
held you, hand in hand, as we
linked the generations between us.

Some day a room where you will dream about me.
There will never be enough time together
to share the love we share.
But if you look, you will always find it there.
The room is in your heart.
Now the love is a part of you.
They can never take it away from you,
no matter how they try.
Every day I ask myself ,
"If today was the last day of my life,
what would I do?"
I would spend that day with Ulysses.

Paolo Li Campisi

Copyright © Paolo Campisi, Sicilian Family Productions, All Rights Reserved.