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Gargonza (Italy)


Donnelly Fenn

The walls are silent whispers,

lying stone on stone.

They speak of hardened hands,

calloused defenders, bent with purpose.

With implacable firmness, they defy

the assault of centuries,

Capturing space, enclosing time,

empowering life,

To thread their way among

the gnarled roots of history.

Sunning lizards now breathe my air,

the birds my song.

Gone are the rough-hewn villagers,

whose voices crackled with industrious life.

Gone--the creaking olive press, rolling carts on stone paths,

the clanging anvil, squeaking well-wheel.

Then a distant church bell,

perhaps they heard the same.

I place my hand on the sun-warmed stone.

For this moment I am a villager.

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