Such a fine noonday,

the stalls colorful with fruit and vegetables

from the countryside,

meat cases iced with chops and fish


A violin trio in tuxedos on folded wooden chairs,

the lone lady perched in the middle,

beamed as they raised and stroked their bows


Children ran in packs, some before a juggler,

others around a painted mime, gold from shaved head to boot tips,

holding out a silver apple at the little bit of sky

above the aged stone structures that boxed the square


Hannas, the old folk singer, was there

in a crisp white dress shirt with cuff links

wearing a black bowler and vest,

long white hair dancing on his shoulders,

as he whispered into Robert’s ear and peeked sideways

towards a woman with long crossed legs

sipping wine at the outdoor cafe


“Hey there, Americano,” the Greek by the fruit stand shouted

and handed me a plump fig that I bit into as he watched me,

letting its juices squirt down my chin onto my sweater


Thoughtful young women strolled together in the crowd,

arms around each other,

old men on the church steps squinting at them in the sun


In the cold shadow of the government building

as I pondered the comings and goings,


(stanza cont)




I wished a still life of the moment,

thought I saw a tremble

from the tall gray statue of the war hero

looming above the crowd


An older couple on canes, necks wrapped with scarves,

woolen hats pulled close to their collars,

tottered hand in hand down a cobblestone alley,

clutching cloth bags with the other,

off I supposed into the early afternoon towards their supper


I lifted some long stemmed flowers from an urn

to buy as a centerpiece for their table,

but seeing their hands full and you so far away,

turned to offer them to you as if you stood beside me

smiling back at memory