Donna Pucciani

He asks me what I want to see
in Rome. I think first of the post-card
Colosseum, then the Trevi Fountain
with pigeons and tourists chattering
while perched on Bernini’s stones. 
Then the Vatican, with secret scandals
and a new pope who promises
showers for the homeless in St. Peter’s Square. 
I tell him that after forty years of us, 
and centuries of domes and churches there, 
I want to wed the past to the future, 
catching a peripheral vision of the years
bumping on cobblestones, sprayed  
by waters blown unexpectedly
from Baroque statues, caught by
sellers of souvenirs, 
to chase romance in seedy hotels
we are too old for now, to buy apples
and cheeses from the market, to sit
in pews surrounded by echoes.  

Author's Commentary: In 2016, I journeyed to Italy with my husband, not only to see relatives but also to do some "touristy" things in anticipation of our fortieth wedding anniversary this year. We stayed in attic apartments and run-down B&B's, as we have done for many years in the various countries in which we have family. This poem was written in anticipation of that visit, with play of space and time in the poem a metaphor for the long but fleeting years of our relationship.

Donna Pucciani has published poetry on four continents in such diverse journals as Poetry Salzburg, Istanbul Literary Review, Shi Chao Poetry, The Christian Century, Acumen and Gradiva.  Her work has been translated into Italian, Chinese, Japanese and German. In addition to five Pushcart nominations, she has won awards from the Illinois Arts Council and The National Federation of State Poetry Societies, among others. Her seventh and most recent collection of poems is Edges (Purple Flag Press, Virtual Artists Collective, Chicago, 2016).