This one goes out to all my co-workers who competed in the Broad Street Run yesterday in Philadelphia. 30K+ runners, a straight, downhill course, and perfect weather conditions for a 10-mile jaunt!
Grace Cavalieri somehow hosts an NPR show called The Poet and the Poem, which I have never heard of! When I first started working in this field my co-worker Liz told me that pizza-making with her dad on Friday nights was a tradition. Only they didn’t call it pizza. They called it tomato pie. -ed.
TOMATO PIES, 25 CENTS
Tomato pies are what we called them, those days,
before Pizza came in,
at my Grandmother’s restaurant,
in Trenton New Jersey.
My grandfather is rolling meatballs
in the back. He studied to be a priest in Sicily but
saved his sister Maggie from marrying a bad guy
by coming to America.
Uncle Joey is rolling dough and spooning sauce.
Uncle Joey, is always scrubbed clean,
sobered up, in a white starched shirt, after
cops delivered him home just hours before.
The waitresses are helping
themselves to handfuls of cash out of the drawer,
playing the numbers with Moon Mullin
and Shad, sent in from Broad Street. 1942,
tomato pies with cheese, 25 cents.
With anchovies, large, 50 cents.
A whole dinner is 60 cents (before 6 pm).
How the soldiers, bussed in from Fort Dix,
would stand outside all the way down Warren Street,
waiting for this new taste treat,
young guys in uniform,
lined up and laughing, learning Italian,
before being shipped out to fight the last great war.