My Aunts and cousins poems

Back row Caregiver, Aunt Pat, Aunt Laurie, My Mom Virginia, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Geri, Caregiver. Seated left Aunt Joyce and right Aunt Connie.  This is the last photo of all the sisters in 2009
       1930  Grandpa Ben and Left to R  Connie, Mona, Ethel holding Virginia, Patricia and Joyce

The sisters in birth order - numbers correspond to the numbers in the poems:

1. Connie
2. Joyce
-  Ethel Audrey 1924 - 1929
-  David 1925 - 1925
3. Mona
4. Patricia
5. Virginia
6. Geri
7. Nancy
8. Laurie

Grandmother Ethel said there were 6 female and 3 male miscarriages. Later it was discovered that Ethel  had a double uterus and had the Rh Negative blood. A total of 19 pregnancies from 1921 to 1938.

1939    Left to right back: Geri, Joyce,  Ethel, Aunt Martha [Grandpa's sister]. Front: Nancy Virginia and Laurie in front of Virginia        

            Same day as the other photo back left to right: Mona, Patricia, Grandma Ethel, Joyce. Middle row Geri and Virginia, front Nancy and Laurie                                       

              1945  Back left Grandpa Benjamin, my Mom Virginia, Geri, Patricia, and Connie
Front Joyce, Laurie, Grandma Ethel, Mona, and Nancy  
1956  Left to right back:  Geri, Joyce, Connie, Grandpa Benjamin. Front my Mom Virginia, Mona, Grandma Ethel, Laurie the bride, Patricia and Nancy 
1957  Left to right, Patricia, Connie, Geri, Nancy the bride, my Mom Virginia, Laurie, and Joyce [Mona was ill]

1978 Last photo with Mona and Great Aunt Yvonne
Back left to right Patricia, Virginia, Mona, Joyce, Geri. [Geri's husband Tony in white to the right]
Seated: left Connie, Grandma Ethel, Great Aunt Yvonne, seated in very front is Laurie

1989  Left to Right Nancy, Laurie, Virginia, Patricia, Connie, Joyce and Geri

Left to Right: Joyce, Nancy, Geri, Patricia, Connie, Virginia and Laurie 1994 was the 50th Anniversary of the annual Christmas reunions since the first grandchild was born.   

One sister was born in July 5, 1924 named Ethel Audrey and she passed away when she was 2 months away from being 6 on May 21, 1929 

The first poems are from Geri DiGiorno with one from Patricia Carso. My Mom's poems are on another page. 

                           Geri in 2006

My Aunt Geri started writing poems in the 1960's. My Mom told her it was ok to use all lowercase letters as ee cummings did. She told her not to worry about form and all that, what was important was to express yourself and your feelings about the subject. Later after she got going on her poems she wrote a short bio poem about each of her 7 sisters. The poems were written in the 1960's.
Aunt Patricia wrote one about her.

Here are the 8 poems about my Aunts. Aunt Geri was poet laureate of Sonoma county California 2006 - 2007.
Her sister Pat wrote a poem about her, Geri, so there is a total of 8 poems here.

She still does poetry readings with other people as well as my Aunt Nancy and Aunt Geri's daughter Michelle. Geri's other daughter Yvonne also reads as well Geri's Grandson Richard.

All the sisters are artisans and crafters. I will have a page on each of their talents in the future. I also will have more of the family recipes.
Here are the 8 sisters poems.
Constance Lucretia Mifflin Ghilotti  1922 - 2012


Sister One

You could call red,
if she isn't near to hear you.
war time welder
lot of looks
now manages JV's order books
the best you ever saw
as hostess
her silvers gold
her food's the mostest
no joke unheard of by her yet
a speeding grandma in
for mike and robin she does a lot
whistling like an old teapot
corte madera is where she lives
she's our one rich relative
a landlady with flowers
the fed's spie for hours
in pink apartments with fairly low rents
ask her to show you
the safe thats all bent
and the lovely apartment in the

Joyce Mifflin Shaw  1923 - 2010

Sister  Two
 has had a few children four in all
sexie dish tho she may be
a p.t.a president formerly
bluebird helper
what a beaver
learned to be
a good huck weaver
long before she ex'ed her mate
she was always always late
now megele is there i see
dined and wined on hot tree tea
tho her children may get cocky
her dog's quite nice his name is rocky
with this i'm playing with my fate
her youngest mite retaliate

Sister Number Three:
Mona Mifflin Smith  1926 - 1980
POEM © BY Geri Digiorno

Sister Number Three

a star gazer she
a bachelor girl very pretty
she sells candy at the shows
and everyone knows
she's the best candy girl
in the city
jewelry and coins
she collects
beyond end
and sometimes
her elbow
she likes to bend
with the girls
she goes bowling
to her some fun
when the weather is nice
she'll lie out in the sun
a champion
for time spent
getting dressed
in the morn
a girl who can sleep
like a baby new born

Sister Number Four
Patricia Carso

Sister Number Four
attractive and wittie
a boy and a girl to set on her settee
she collects charms
like a native does heads
i expect to see mine
next to an old pair of keds
she work's at someplace
that's got book's and numbers and phones
if she cuts you it's quick
and right to the bone
she know's things about people
they don't know they've done
at her leisure
well lotioned
she lies out in the sun
sometimes she feels good
sometimes not so hot
but then she gets thedy
to give her a shot
to work she commutes
her and jo
pocket books
well in hand
where feverishly
they try
getting friend
ginger canned

Sister five


I've got seven of em
Sister five has a Mansfield Beat
with better looks and smaller feet
money's owe'd her she's got a list
well studied and many interest
when it comes to religion
she knows in a jiff
when it comes to a back yard
her's has a cliff.
Someday when I'm older
and brave and less weak
I'll ask her if I can
repel off it's peak
She's a champion card sender
a friendly book lender
in a talk telethon
She's place first on the phone
with me as a partner (of course)
She'd never do it alone.
A splendid sock maker
who knits in a house
situated upon 3/4 acre's
of shrubs, trees and lawn
when hubby John off to
work has been kissed
and Sherry and Mike
shov'd off with a fist
this girl changes
moods and changes herself
into a hard working

Sister number six
Ada Geraldine Mifflin Digiorno
© Pat Carso

To Number Six From Number 4

as a little child,
i remember her not
so many so many,
i just forgot
my first recollection
a gangly girl.
so thin, so quiet
no sensation
no riot
a few years later,
a niche in time
a lovely girl
with shape sublime
still so quiet.
we did not know
what secret thoughts
set the face aglow
all grown up,
a wife,
a mother
two girls,
a boy,
maybe another.
a ravishing blonde
at times
you'll see
or maybe
a beatnik
in boots and capris
and oh,
as clever as can be
a poem or two,
a tree of roses
a pich, of will,
for which he poses
a xmas tree cake,
slightly agai'st
to win a prize,
not yet her fate.


Sister Number Seven:
Nancy Mifflin Keane

Sister Number Seven
sister seven to say
the least
is the sister
who's the sexiest
an ex working girl
from bell ding - a - ling
an ex college coed
who has a big ring
from mormon to other
even to zen
to a catholic marriage
to an irishman
two daughters
hair curlie
one grandma
one shirley
her push ups
each day
with jack
are a must
she's secretly trying
to build up her bust


Sister Number Eight:
Laurie Mifflin Harper

Sister Number Eight

sister number eight
is fair
oh gossip
she will
never tell,
children four
she has
her share
a loving husband
short on hair
buttered bread
she once said
duppy dupper
a shy girl
and winning
head bumper
when children
the movies and
sunflower seeds
were a treat
as five packs of gum
she's chew up
very neat,
now busy at cleaning
her house floor to ciel
as jerry pops
into her mouth
her pink pill
when brought
into this world
the doc's name
was norris
who's ever
have guessed
she's turn out
to be doris
[Re: Doris is Doris Day, the actress]


From the book Rosetta Mary
© by Geri DiGiorno

Etiquette of Sunglasses
- a found poem

do you remove them when meeting people?
there are medical or religious reasons
for not doing so
like the handshake
you could offer your left hand
or say sorry i don't shake hands
others should accept unquestioningly
removing prescription glasses might deprive people of knowing whom they were meeting
even nonprescription glasses might cover a multitude of conditions
light sensitivity
watery eyes
black eyes
who knows what else?


aunt ada © by Geri DiGiorno
watching uncle chop the heads off chickens 
 their headless forms jumping and cavorting 
 like baseball players 
 spewing red tobacco juice on a field of white.

rosetta © by Geri DiGiorno
hair a bright orange
mouth painted red-red
gold teeth
fingers covered with rings
she wears many gold chains
and crosses
her car an old rusted out chevy
piled high with her belongings
she's laying against the fence
outside the opp center
wearing a long wine colored
rita hayworth number
with a slit up the side
and two black

ray gunn © by Geri DiGiorno
at the homeless center
ray is looking for a quarter
for the dryer
i tell him i'll give him one
if he comes to the college class
and he does
a week later i see him in line at the kitchen
he comes running over when he sees me
says he's got to tell me something
ever since he did the collage class
everywhere he looks he sees collage
in the street
the newspaper
on tv
he's collaging the walls in his room
he says.
                       All of Geri DiGiorno's books at Amazon
M'z D's   © by Geri DiGiorno   

In M'z D's gym class
at James lick Jr. High

Jerry Flurry was long and tall
wore her hair
in a blond pump-up pompadour
and carried a switchblade knife

her body covered with names of boys
etched into her arms and thighs
like an ancient war goddess
with a bow and arrow
and one breast

her back swayed
her legs tan
in silver high-top tennis shoes
strutting her stuff
in her dark blue uniform

the teachers moved aside


From White Lipstick

one year later © BY GERI DIGIORNO
one year later
I will be living
in a home for
unwed mothers
in Oakland
right there in black and white
I am fifteen years old
standing between
dorothy hardy and
john luhring
jim cancella behind us
in a light suit and tie
a mouth full of teeth
like a cold breeze
joan is wearing a white
two-piece dress
with matching heels
her lips open
marilyn monroe style
albino curls oppose
her bony features
dorothy’s dress
sweeps away behind her
outlining heavy legs
thick brown locks
cut short
surround her dimples
I’m the only one
not smiling
dark blondness falls
across my cheeks
my eyes tumble
to the ground
diploma tightly held
in both hands


i’m one of them © BY GERI DIGIORNO
i was baptized at sixteen
in my sister mona’s white
two piece bathing suit
and white flannel night gown
laid back onto the water by two men
in alabaster suits
holding my nose
while they prayed over me
pushed me down underneath the coolness
till I came up saved


i believe  © BY GERI DIGIORNO
in my self
light rain
sudden storms
the moon
polenta and sausage
good sex
red sunsets
a perfect martini
the stars
true love
monet’s garden
cracked crab
long baths
soft jazz
a walk on the beach
and root beer floats
i believe
in quiet mornings
the ocean
slow dancing
the back of a man’s neck
fred astair tapping across the screen
the magic of the sacramento delta
stone angels in italian cemeteries
growing your own tomatoes
paul newman’s eyes
that writing poetry is telling the truth
ironing is therapy
kissing is an art
and dusting is a waste of time

(from White Lipstick, Red Hen Press, 2005, copyright by Geri Digiorno)






shirley © Geri Digiorno

shirley worked in the cannery in fresno her big voice matched her frame she wore delicate scarves and too much make-up
her boyfriend
spider was a bum
they lived in her
late brothers
house with his dog
named bette 
one time at the play-house bar spider sold the dog for fifteen dollars to a man named rudy and told shirley it had jumped overboard while he was fishing

when she found out she got the dog back but refused to pay the extra twenty dollars rudy paid have it groomed she should have taken spider fishing but she was afraid she couldn't find another man


©Geri Digiorno 
at the station café
fred is talking about this woman who lives in pt reyes

she makes her clothes out of newspaper
hangs things in her hair
sews a leal pad to the bottom of her bell bottom pants it says don’t kill jane

she doesn't talk much
her family sends a check for her each month
so she’ll stay here in California
as we leave we see a wand
sticking in the fence

nell says jane probably made it

it’s a stick with a cluster of bells curled ribbon in bright colors iridescent spears
spilling out of the top
don’t kill jane


Just Because ©Geri Digiorno 

I talked to dorianne
and she gave me the words
she gave her students
because she is a teacher of words
and I am unable to write a poem
because of death by rust
unable to jot down words
overheard conversations
and descriptions of people
moving through their lives
colorful umbrellas and
men working on the deck
outside at the Applebox
me sitting inside the window
having a toasted tuna
and a glass of red
unable to put it together
because of dying inside
and it’s sink or swim
I’m listening to Jimi Hendrix
because he feels no pain
because there’s no stopping him
Jimi Hendrix makes me want
to have sex
I am unable to write because of death
and all the words in the world aren’t
going to help me
I need a piano to play off my
one word at a time

Books by Geri
"Marilyn and Me"  - self published
 "I'm Tap Dancing"  - with Norton Coker Press 
"White Lipstick" -  Red Hen Press 2005
 "Rosetta Mary"  - (Dpress, 2007)

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