Foreign Landscapes

September 1, 2000

Foreign Landscapes - Poetry of the Times

She sits near her mother reading
about the Vietnam war, and I lie under
a grape arbor in early Tuscan spring,
violets and anemones opened to the sun,
last summer's lavender dusty green in the rocks,
silver olives shimmering on terraces below.
Across the brown patchwork plain, a river curls
cobalt blue, ancient Sienna in the distance,
and cypress trees everywhere,
exclamations toward heaven.

For years mother and daughter shared
a private landscape whose breeze
I've listened to like Italian: half-understanding,
a bit disoriented, but delighted by the melody.
Now I watch distance spread between them
like cloud and shadow on the valley floor,
a daughter emerging from the old country
no longer willing to speak the native tongue.

© CME LLC
9/00

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