A World Away
Just around the corner, if canals have corners,
away from the tourists and fancy cafes,
out of sight of the post card makers and elegant shops
are the darker places, a bit less color,
none of the gold gilt or pink marble tiles.
Yesterday’s clothes hang from lines.
The trattoria is plain, almost lost
in the grey stone. No one here speaks your language,
but they smile and nod and with a bit of joyful patience
you decide what to eat. It is wonderful, half the cost
and rich with honest flavor. Someone in the back sings
with none of the operatic flair of the gondoliers,
fueled by cheap wine and once again, joy,
this time of the dumpling of a woman with bright eyes,
only for him, at his side.
Who would not sing for such loving eyes?
Any of us would, but not in the crystal lit tourist palaces
just a few blocks, but a world, away.
About this poem.
This one is a mishmash of the first trip I made to Rome (ask me about it sometime, over a glass of wine), my time in Venice (where the picture was snapped), the lessons I learned about finding beauty, the difference between being a tourist and losing yourself in a place, and a recognition of what love does to us, even more so than wine.