One day in late 1944
twenty-one year old Saro Famà
before he was my father
sat up in his hospital bed in
Krile Army Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio
as Roy Rogers walked into the ward
with his horse, Trigger
My soldier father born in Sicily
Private First Class in Patton’s Third Army
with battle wounds received at Metz
on the border of France and Germany
was weary yet hopeful he’d learn to walk again
he knew Roy Rogers from the movies
was thrilled to meet him and
his famous horse, Trigger
Trigger walked to each bed
hospital booties on his hooves
letting each man pet him
my father reached for Trigger who nuzzled him
a spark arose between the movie star horse
and the young immigrant warrior who drew with a quick hand
a sketch of Trigger from life right there with paper and pencil
From this sketch, Saro Famà painted in oils
a portrait of Trigger on canvas
he hung the painting in my room
when I was a little girl
I loved seeing Trigger’s kind face
I loved hearing how Daddy met Trigger, petted him, drew his picture
I knew Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans from TV
I even had a Dale Evans wristwatch
Yet Trigger held me rapt
I’ve kept the painting with me through the years
It is suffused with light compassion nobility
reminding me that once
my father was an ailing boy and
Trigger the celebrity
who offered him a healing touch
of comfort
of inspiration.

Maria Famà

Maria Famà is the author of eight books of poetry. Her work appears in numerous publications and has been anthologized. Famà has read her poetry in many cities across the United States, read one of her stories on National Public Radio, co-founded a video production company, and recorded her poetry for CD compilations of music and poetry. Maria Famà did her undergraduate and graduate work in History at Temple University. She appears in the film documentaries “Prisoners Among Us,” “Pipes of Peace,” and “La Mia Strada: My Way” reading her poems. She was awarded the Aniello Lauri Award in Creative Writing in 2002 and 2005. In 2006 she was awarded the Amy Tritsch Needle Award for Poetry. In 2018, Famà won second prize in the Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards. Her latest books of poems are: The Good for the Good, published by Bordighera Press in 2019; Other Nations: an animal journal, published by Pearlsong Press in 2017, and Mystics in the Family published in 2013 by Bordighera Press. Maria Famà lives and works in Philadelphia.