Centro Storico


In narrow, labyrinthine
medieval back-ways,
old women sit and wait
at open doors.
‘Perso?’ one asks,
seeing I look lost.

The sun has almost dried
the step she has just washed.
Crow-like in black,
she directs me in dialect,
and empties her bucket
in the central gulley,
once an open sewer,
then sits at her door to wait.
There is nothing else to do.

Past complaining about the past,
the old men in the piazza
stand in their places and wait.
There is nothing else to do.

Past worrying about the future,
the ragazzi loiter in the wings,
and wait for their cue.
There is nothing else to do.


© Nemo 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Hi Gerald,
This captures the feeling of the hot afternoons and the locals so well. The repetition of the lines add emphasis to the lazy, laid back situation. It suggests to me a painting come to life.

Alison x

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