by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

It rained that day
aquamarine waves
the sandy shore.

Fishing boats moored
adjacent to
an outcropping
of gigantic boulders.

It was our last day
when we might
have preferred,
at least,
another 2 weeks.


Perched on a lofty
and precipitous rock
on the Tyrrhenian coast.

On our first day,
we traversed winding,
cobbled streets
to take shelter
from the storm
in the dual-towered

Inside, beneath the
cross-vaulted ceiling
we gazed in awe
at the Byzantine mosaics,

caressed columns stolen
and repurposed/recycled
from the Tempio di Diana,
only to discover,
when we left,
some modern-day thief
had stolen our umbrella.

We peeked into shops
on the way back to
Cynthia's AirBnB
hoping to espy
the purloined umbrella,

stopped for an espresso
and a sweet
then trundled
on home
soaked to the bone.

Stored forever
in my long-term memory,
that final rear-view mirror glance,
at the remains of a megalithic wall
and all that's left of Castel di Tusa,
a Saracenic fortress
clinging limpet-like
to the summit
of the promontory.

When this plague is over,
maybe we'll return in June.


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