48 to my daughter. She counts the stars and wishes
49 I were home, though I am only words away
50 in a place so real that I can taste its age,
51 lost in the hard-earned antiquity of patience,
52 a lesson repeated over and over like song.
53 And so, it is soon night, I am far, far away,
54 as most of us are, from the things I love.
55 My head is filled with unfashionable thoughts,
56 with rhythms of the heart that leave one
57 lonely in the end. I stare at the silent steeple
58 crumbling under the weight of its own bell,
59 the sound of its voice calling out the lives
60 and measured moments of those it has known.
61 The tongue in my swollen head knows no better,
62 and its shadows in the moonlight breaking
63 over the sea like the heart that cannot go home
64 is a sign of patience. Someday, may the world
65 listen. And if it doesn't, remember Brattaggia,
66 the place no one ever mentioned until now.
67 Some diligent soul will research its history,
68 will question the craftsmanship of squared
69 clean lines, and long to understand its beauty;
70 that history is not merely just what happened
71 but the record of small things still possible
72 because they exist and are stronger than time.
1] "Only love, only to know / counts" ("Il pianto della scavatrice" [The Cry of the Digger]. Back to Line
5] Brattaggia: unlocated and not found on Google (November 18, 2012). Aeneus: the hero of Virgil's epic Aeneid, about the founderof Rome. Back to Line
8] seven hills: those on which Rome would be founded. Augustus (63 B.C.-14 AD), the first emperor of the Roman Empire. Back to Line
16] Marcus Aurelius: Roman Emperor, 161-180 AD. Back to Line
24] Vasari: Giorgio Vasari, Renaissance painter (1511-74). Machiavelli: Niccola di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469-1527), Renaissance Italian historian and philosopher who lived in Florence, author of The Prince. Back to Line
27] Leonardo: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Italian polymath and artist. Back to Line
28] Fiorenza: Florence. Castiglione: Baldassare Castiglione (1478â1529), Italian Renaissance writer and diplomat, author of The Courtier. Back to Line
35] Lot's wife turned to stone when she looked back on Sodom (Genesis 19). Back to Line
46] Seguso: possibly Toronto's Carling Bassett, now Bassett Seguso, a world-class tennis player who struggled with bulimia for years, but is now in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame; or the renowned the Venetian family associated with the production of fine glass since the 14th century.
Copyright (c) Bruce Meyer. Printed by permission of the author. Any other use, including reproduction for any purposes, educational or otherwise, will require explicit written permission from the poet.