Author Archives: Tom Zampino

Tom Zampino is an attorney in private practice in New York City who makes his home on Long Island. He and his beautiful and accomplished wife have raised two fantastic daughters, four cats, two dogs, and various other domesticated creatures over the past three decades. He formerly blogged at the Catholic Channel at Patheos.

Extended Warranty

I’ve put some good mileage on it over the past few years.

Sure, the interval between the indicator warning lights keeps getting shorter, requiring more and more fixes just to keep it running smoothly.

But it’s still pretty reliable – even with the sure signs of rust and tarnish that I see growing. Some of that may be related to the northern climate that I live in.

I find that the added miles now often require that I give myself plenty of extra time to make it to my destination and that I have to brake sooner than before. The sputtering and extra effort just adds to its charm I suppose.

This morning I’ve made an appointment for yet one more tuneup.

I’m hoping that they can give this old, creaky set of wheels a seal of approval for the months ahead. It’ll no doubt need a full inspection sometime before the summer.

Oh and yes, my car is getting older too. I may have to bring it in soon for some needed repairs as well.

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2021

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Signals And Signs


Defined paw prints left in the snow just last week are now blobs of foul, circular water

Outdoor smells as if some kind of agricultural incubator, a mix of mold and freshly brewed dirt

Patches of green blend easily with a long stretch of brown now contemplating its own surrender

And winter winds engage in fewer evening battles because the sun holds a weightier and longer advantage

Signals of spring, unbounded

Signs of life, unleashed

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2021

Image Credit: Pixabay

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A Moment Of Alchemy


A moment of alchemy slipped in between us

as we circled in rhythm for the first time

even with awkward feet still learning.

A turn, a smile, a waltz, a blur. The

room behind us disappearing.

Two of us, transported

Somewhere outside.

But then landing

safely. Just in

time.

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2021

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Joe And Frank

 

They were the best of friends since the old country, and ultimately settled near each other in the new world.

The families remained close. Frank eventually fathering five children, one of whom died in infancy. Joe became the patriarch of his four-sibling clan, with only one daughter counted among them.

Frank operated a shoe repair shop in the Bronx while Joe engaged in two different trades – as a tailor doing piece work and as a barber whenever the need arose.

The families grew even closer when one of Frank’s two sons married Joe’s only daughter. Frank later left for the suburbs just north of the City, while Joe settled to the east – even for a time living with us.

They remained close even though the times they saw each other grew ever scarcer. But I well remember one such meeting when they were quite old. Seated on a porch, strong espresso in hand, and enough cigarette smoke to make the humid summer air feel even thicker.

They are both long gone now, as are four of their children and one grandchild. But their memories remain strong.

The thick Neapolitan accent that was never lost, banter about the old country and the love of the new one, the huge Sunday afternoon pasta and meat dinners (including a little wine mixed with soda for the young ones), the love they passed on to my own mom and dad.

Two buddies reunited decades ago and likely still friends – Giuseppe and Francesco.

Joe and Frank.

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2021

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

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Compelled

 

Sometimes, the hardest part of engagement is living within the silence.

Could you not absorb the scent of a rose held up against your nose?

Or avert your eyes from a cyan-blue sky after days of endless rain?

We are far too easily compelled by our senses, far too often

Aroused by our egos. But living within that silence makes

Ingenious sense once all your arguments have grown

Stale, and your heart is fully seasoned.

Such is love.

 

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2021

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Loosening Up

 

There are days when I still interrupt too much, eager as I am to share the consequences of my mistakes. Ones that, in hindsight, seem completely avoidable.

But if maturity sometimes feels like a class A license to meddle, no road test ever given has ideally predicted what lies ahead. Every turn, every corner, every distance is always newly traveled no matter how familiar the terrain.

I need to remind myself that turning over the wheel means relinquishing the ability to steer, to brake, to set the destination. And my way of getting there is not the only way – and maybe not even the best one.

Loosening up is never easy.

But sometimes it helps just to listen carefully, close my eyes, and trust the unfolding.

Peace

Copyright (TZampino) 2021

Image Credit: Pixabay

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Home

 

You aren’t alone in your contempt for the world for I stand with you.

But neither are you alone in your delight of the things that make a home.

The sleeping child, secure in the knowledge that we will battle any monster that might call in the night.

The absurdity of unrelenting forgiveness.

And the fiery embrace of these four walls. A place of shelter, but one primed to incinerate every unfamiliar intrusion.

Whatever hurts, whatever scars, sit at our table need not be nurtured nor long entertained, only accepted.

Thus freeing our hands so that the world might finally fall away from our grip.

Peace

© TZampino 2020

Image Credit: Pixabay

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