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Maria A Miraglia – Don’t Smile at Me

Miraglia profile Dec 2020

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing, Volume One, December 2020.

Educationist, poet, translator, essayist and peace activist. Maria A. Miraglia was born and lives in Italy. She graduated in Foreign Languages and Literatures, got a master’s degree in Evaluation and School Orientation followed by one more in Modular Education, an HLC from the Trinity College, Edinburgh. Teacher of foreign languages in public high secondary schools and a ministerial lecturer for English language teachers. An active member of Amnesty International, of Ican, of the Observatory for Human Rights, Deputy President-Coordination, at the child rights global organization, United World Movement for Children(UWMC), Kenya, she herself founder and chairwoman of World Foundation for Peace. Dr Maria Miraglia is a founding member and the Literary Director of the Italian cultural association Pablo Neruda and a member of several international editorial boards. She collaborates for poetry with national and international magazines. Her poems are translated into several languages and collected in numberless anthologies. Among her recent poetry collections: Star Dust, 2018; Confluence, 2019; Tra Realtà e Sogno and Labirinto di Pensieri, 2020. She is a recipient of several recognitions and awards

Don’t Smile at Me

Don’t smile at me
every time I pick for you
a flower
along the meadows
where the paths of life
lead my steps

my hand gets ready
to pluck from the earth
one more
quick the thought goes back
to the time when
on the high seas
young and strengthless
you expected
I held out my hand
while you felt like drowning

In the very act of bending
I ask God’s forgiveness
for failing
for not giving you
what you expected

Your cries for help
came to me
as words of rejection
and there I stayed incredulous
hoping that at least once
you would have called my name


You thought
you had learned to accept it
the pain
also because you can’t refuse it
that comes suddenly
when you least expect it
to devastate you inside
break all those mental structures
that you have built over the time
to defend yourself
You can’t see it
but feel it
like blades
tearing those threads
that like a spider’s web
you have woven
and with difficulty
over time
You say I know life by now
you feel prepared
to go through new storms
that are there
ready to surprise you again
to make you feel inadequate
to think you have to start over
all over again
to understand
to accept

I Can’t Breathe

They look at me
As if I were nothing
Tug me
Arrogant in their uniforms
Pounce against me
Like dogs whose
Leashes have been removed
One of them writhes my arm
I don’t resist
Other times it happened
But I feel now
That the worst is in the air
I can only say and
In a slow voice
I can’t breath
But with his face
So close to mine
He pretends not to hear
His eyes don’t change expression
Taken as he is
By the effort to press on my neck

His cronies are there looking
They talk
Sometimes laugh
Who knows how many scenes
Like this
Have seen them as witnesses
I look at the white man
On me
While the sight slowly fogs up
And turns off

But not far away
I still can see that face
He loosens his hold
Light and painless
I look at my lifeless body
And for a while
I can’t but go on saying
‘Cause I was a black man

© Maria A Miraglia