Dear Sun Spots: You continue to please and interest so many of us with your well informed answers to our questions. Here I am again, but this time with a renewed interest in grave markings. My favorite great uncle had three wives and at one time a housekeeper who today would be known as “a significant other.” When his second wife passed away, the inscription on her tombstone read “one by one we pass away.” The third wife left very specific directions to be buried out of the state. I thought this might be of interest to readers. – No Name, No Town.

Sun Spots was struck by the tombstone’s inscription and, naturally enough, went searching to see what the origins might be. She located Il Maestro del Violino by poet Emily Fragos and first published in The American Voice and posted on www.//

The poem notes that those afflicted with incurable diseases would go to the Incurabili, founded in Venice in 1522. There, hundreds of abandoned children were provided with music lessons and were taught to perform at Mass and at Vespers.

Il Maestro del Violino

Somewhere behind the huge thick doors

deep within the bowels of the Incurabili

on the Zattere a long paved street facing

the Giudecca and named for the rafts

that unload their wood there

we live until we die and are taught

our lessons by Maestro Matteo Puppi

who plays violin by day and composes admirable

sonatas by night of full harmonious

music for us to play.

Sweet-faced angels he calls us and

once a lovely man he called friend with

hair the color of carrots and eyes as green

as Chiaretta’s parrot came to hear

us play his concerto and pronounced us

marvels of great facility and expression.

Signor Vivaldi patted me on the head

and sparkled like a star so bright in the sky

that he turned night to day.

Those of us still pretty enough

to leave give concerts in the open air

and return to tell of shrieking gulls and

large faces and the warm breeze that blows

across our bare legs and arms as thin as reeds.

Francesca conducted our chorus with sound

flowing like water the light glinting off this voice

and then off another.

When she died, I played my instrument in a

monotonous frenzy all high-pitched and piercing

and made Him hold his ears in pain.

My cat Gatto is fat with the rats he catches every day

strolling about the dark halls with a skinny tail hanging

from his mouth.

One by one we pass away and are buried

under signs in the garden behind. We can see

the markers from our windows and speak to our

friends who listen from above. We appear only as first names

and the instruments we played: Francesca

del coro, Luciana organista, Luciete dalla viola,

Anna Maria and Silvia del cello. Me, I am

Sofia del violino.

Once I saw myself in a clear puddle of rain

water. My teeth are very crooked, I know. We

are none of us startled by the other. We are all

the same. To Heaven.

Dear Sun Spots: Do you know where people can get dentures made or fixed? There was an article recently in the Sun Journal about a place opening in the L/A area. Can you please provide this information? – No Name, No Town.

The Auburn Denture Center, 120 Center St., Suite 109, Auburn, held its opening and was featured in the Jan. 3 business section of the Sun Journal. You might also check the Yellow Pages for additional businesses.

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