Trattoria Venezia
by Mary Jo Balistreri

Late sun touches our alley like an acolyte.
You would have enjoyed the candled color,
the way shade and shadow offer quietness
as presence–like the Romanesque churches
that pleased you. They suggest the long view,
you always said, and here too, at the end
of a narrow stone path, the sea awaits. Seagulls
bugle somewhere beyond the breakers.

The gold-covered tables are empty but for me
though the steady light of our shared love hovers.
Remember the potted evergreens that swayed
in the smallest of breezes, the roof’s flowered canopy?
It’s still here, even those purple-green pendants
though today they do not lavish with aroma,
but a scent more mellow.
Shadows begin to move in cooling air.
They too have a life, tell me to go on living.
All shall be well, all manner of things shall be well
the joy in that, and the pain.

From Julien of Norwich


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