Poem: Venitian Peppers


Venitian Peppers

Peppers lined up like art in the cart
on the Venitian street.

It is Thursday and the marketplace is alive
with seafood, vegetables, and the natives.

Ripened by the Mediterranean sun, you buy one,
filled with the need to know if they are different
from the late season peppers that seem so similar
in faraway Vermont.

You bite, and the bright taste of almost home fills your mouth.
Similar, but somehow brighter, a difference you can’t explain,
a trick of the sun perhaps, or the volcanic soil of Sicily,
or the most powerful thing of all, your imagination.

If you thought a taste of distant home would make you yearn,
you were wrong.
Somehow your soul lives here in this sinking city
of canals, history and cafes. You hear music when you are here,

Amidst the ancient buildings, you feel new.
More alive than a man ought.
It is not a thing books can tell you, or pictures capture,
more soul than bricks and decaying mortar.

You become part of the landscape,
and it becomes
part of yours.

About this poem

The picture was taken at the Venice market, which comes into full flower on Thursdays. It may look the same as any of the small farmer’s markets here in Vermont and elsewhere, but nothing is the same there.


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