in a far away province of Italy,
a medieval town with ancient stones lining the streets
holding the traces of footsteps for a thousand years
reminding me of my place in the scheme of things-
one of them, humans together, trying to walk straight on crooked paths;
small alleys off the main street echo summers of shouts, out the windows,
down the lanes, while cooking smells waft overhead and people gather on stoops,
stairs, squares always urgent with the need to connect.
I'm from where Dolorata calls from her stand on market day: "Bella! Come stai?",
where Gianni parks his van with fresh fish every Wednesday and Friday and kisses
me and my husband on both cheeks and marvels that our names are John and Mary
and he's Gianni and his wife is Maria and we're from different countries
and aren't we lucky to have met and live here now? I'm from where I can see
the Apennine mountains around three sides of town while the Adriatic hugs the fourth,
where traditions are handed down like cherished family recipes, all meant to nourish,
where transitory has to do with crops and existential struggle describes weather
as friend or foe of the agriculture that sustains our region, its olives and grapes,
dirt and rain, trees and vines cut back after last season to grow again in this one
and be reaped to feed us all and slake our thirst.
I'm from where art and architecture generations old are held as humanity's treasures,
where people greet children with smiles and hugs and swing them gaily around,
hold them, too, as humanity's treasures; where yearly festas celebrate every saint,
crop, flower or historical accomplishment of our region to encode children's memories
in celebration. I've thrown in my lot with these folks in this town to live, to learn,
to expand my definition of where I'm from.
This is in response to Pamela Sayers request at dVerse Poets Pub to write about the places we live.