A Nod on the Fourth Day
Early in the morning, you see him reading the paper.
Every day now. Obviously, not like yourself, a tourist,
he belongs, with his crisp black suit and shiny shoes.
You would like to live here. You decided that long ago,
on the first visit, a week long wandering
that took you beyond the brochures
to the quiet, narrow walkways and canals rarely traveled,
the back doors and empty cafes.
To the Thursday market with its writhing seafood
and bright, fresh fruit calling to you.
The crowds in the market live here,
gathering impossibly fresh foodstuffs
to carry them through the week.
You have seen him four days now, and he looks up,
and nods. You nod back, with a shy smile.
That is how long it takes. Four days
and you have begun to belong. It warms you,
that nod because you know the secret,
you have always belonged here,
even in the decades before your first journey,
you knew. Your soul lived here.
You felt at home the first day, as you left your hotel
and found a café, sipped cappuccino and watched
the crowds in San Marco’s square.
How it is you can feel at home in certain places
you have never been is not a thing you understand.
Why is you feel more at home here
than in your own living room, you cannot understand,
and you do not even make the attempt.
For that is the nature of home. It just is
and no explanations are needed. You trust the place
and melt into it, unnoticed, until you are.
About this poem.
I love Venice like I have never loved any other place in the world. Don’t ask me to explain it. It is a thing of the heart.