by angeliska on September 18, 2003

During our last dinner, at which I had
what was described as
“Drowned Little Octopus and Polenta”
I was waving the little guys around
and making them dance as I tend to
when confronted by baby octopi
and my Grandfather said to me,
“Darling, you’re not impossible-
but you’re definitely improbable!”
The train to Ravenna was not without
its minor dramas, as we were to change
trains in Ferrara- and with an 89 year
old man, a portable wheelchair and
altogether way too many bags
this is already a feat..
Even more so when the door in the train
opens for about two seconds,
long enough for Grampapa to hop off-
but as I turned to start hauling the
baggage out, the door shut and would not open
and the train started rolling off to Bologna!
After searching through seventeen train cars
for the conductor, I finally accosted one
and in a panic explained that mi Nono
was stranded and I was here with all of
our luggage headed away from him..
In the end, I went to Bologna,
turned around and came back to Ferrara,
all in enough time for us to catch our train
to Ravenna. Eh. Train travel is exciting.
So here we are by the shining sea,
little sand-crabs sidle away from me
in the surf and wave their pincers menacingly..
I collect shells, mermaids teeth and crustacean corpses.
From this height, the ocean glimmers faintly
over the rise of cedars and becomes one with the sky-
The big fishing boats out on the horizon appear to be
floating- suspended in mid-air..
Night has fallen, and from the balcony I watch
the lighthouse tower a lonely sentinel on the shore.
Its beacon turning slowly to pierce me with that
bright beam for an instant before I close the curtains.
I, too, have been in Ravenna.
It is a little dead city
That has churches and a good many ruins.
You can read about it in books.
You walk back through it and look around you:
The streets are so muddy and damp, and so
Dumbstruck for a thousand years,
And moss and grass, everywhere.
That is what old songs are like–
You listen to them, and nobody laughs
And everybody draws back into
His own time till night falls into him.
-Hermann Hesse

Leave your comment


Required. Not published.

If you have one.