Donna Bamford

October in Venice

                         We met at the Campanile
                                         in Piazza San Marco,
                                  an ex-lover and I,
                                      ten years had passed
                       a noticeable change
                              in our girth and mien,
                               we celebrated our reunion,
                                     with a Fanta at Café Florian
                      Twenty dollars,
                         we had to pay the piano player,
                            we hadn't noticed the piano player,
                    but the October sunshine
                            warm and dry on our backs
             soothed our jet-lagged souls
                       the vaporetto to our pensione
                               and all along the Grand Canal
                                     the palazzi, bridges and churches
                            luminous and illusory,
                                     like in a liquid dream,
                                   the gondolas of the rich,
                  funereal and reminiscent
                                    of Death in Venice
                          I took a walk
                               from our quarter
                       to St. Mark's
                               the snaking streets black and slick
                                           in the night rain
                                              in the evenings risotto
                                                       and sweet white wine
                                      the galleries and museums memorable
                                               Canaletto, Giotto,
                                          but chiefly
                                               it was the facade of Venice
                                        that beguiled me,
                                                the architecture, the fantasy, the dream
                                                      the secret alleyways that lead to scenes of gondoliers
                               lounging sanguine in the haze
                                      this captured my imagination
                                           brown leaves and grey pigeons
                                      scud across the piazza
                     it is time for the train
                               to Padova, and Mantova and Verona,
                                         ah but thereby hangs another tale.