In the Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy
by Wilda Morris
On this cool November night, I sit at an outside café
surrounded on two sides by five-foot glass walls.
From here, I can see the Baptistery, a corner
of the Giotto’s bell tower. Beyond the Duomo
with its red-orange dome, my view is obscured
by chocolates reflected from a store window.
The piazza is alive with parents pushing strollers,
tourists from a dozen nations dragging suitcases,
snapping selfies on cell phones. Photographers
focus Nikons and Canons. A police car backs out.
Bicycles weave between pedestrians. A toddler
clinging to a big red balloon rides her father’s shoulder.
Leashed black labs sniff each other; the owners
laugh, say ciao. and begin to chat.
The young donna in short skirt twirls
toward the suave young man as his dog
licks his leg. They compare canine companions.
He grins as he tells her a tale about his.
She waves goodbye and starts to go, pulling
on her leash. He calls her back. After more talk,
she puts his number in her cell phone, he puts hers
in his. My lasagna went cold as I watched
something warm between them.
PHOTO: Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy (2017). Photo by Runoman.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: On my first trip to Italy, I had to choose between Florence and Venice, and picked Venice. It hurt my heart when the train went past Florence, though, and I didn’t get to experience any of that wonderful city. When I had an opportunity to attend a writing workshop in Orvieto, I added several days in Florence to my itinerary. Early one evening, I ordered dinner at a sidewalk cafe in the Piazza del Duomo. Before I went back to the hostel where I was staying, I drafted this poem about my experience there. It is different from my poems about the cathedral, the art galleries, and the Arno River, but it records a fond memory.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wilda Morris, Workshop Chair, Poets and Patrons of Chicago, and past President of the Illinois State Poetry Society, enjoys traveling as much as writing. She has published over 650 poems in anthologies, webzines, and print publications. She has won awards for formal and free verse and haiku. Her most recent collection is Pequod Poems: Gamming with Moby-Dick (Kelsay Books, 2019). Her poetry blog at wildamorris.blogspot features a monthly poetry contest.
PHOTO: The author on the roof of the cathedral in Florence, Italy, a few years ago.