bodies leaning toward each other, forming a triad of dark hair and
olive skin. A single sheet of paper was displayed on the table between
them, with the occasional finger jabbing at its presence. The paperwas the cause of their midnight meeting, some evil declaration that
made sleep impossible.Her curiosity and concern propelled her to enter the main room,but she closed the door so Sofia could sleep. At the sound, the three atthe table looked up, their foreheads creased in worry.“What’s wrong?” Lucy asked.
Mamma looked at the others, then to Lucy. “I heard footsteps
in the hall, then heard the sound of a paper being pushed under the
door.” She lifted its corner and handed it to Lucy as if it were the
filthiest of rags.
Lucy took it closer to the gas lamp in order to see. One word stood
out among the rest. “Evicted? We’re evicted?”“We have a week,” Uncle said. “One week or they’ll tear the tene-ment down around us.”The tenement on Mulberry Street where they’d lived for most of Lucy’s twenty-four years needed tearing down. It had been old whenthey’d moved in after immigrating to New York City from Italy. Yet inspite of its flaws, it was home—all the home they could afford. Espe-cially since her father had died four years previous.Lucy still missed Papa. She’d been his
his sweet girl.
Even when Sofia had come along after they’d arrived in America,she hadn’t usurped the bond between Lucy and her father. Perhapsbecause he’d never had a son, Lucy had become that son, that heir,
that confidante he primed to lead the family when he was gone.
But who could have known he would be gone years before his time,
in his prime? There was still so much to learn from him, so much tosay to him. All she had now were the remembered snippets of wisdom
he’d peppered throughout his talk, priceless gems she now held dear, as
precious as actual jewels. The one she repeated most often was
Mortoun papa, se ne fa un altro
: Life goes on.Dante Scarpelli had lost his life in an accident on the docks wherehe had worked. Uncle Aldo and her cousin Vittorio had been there,