The Woman on the Hill

Here’s a poem I wrote after a trip to Florence. I got a chance to visit a beautiful churchyard overlooking the valley, which is where I ran into the woman. Here’s a Frostian flavored version of the experience…

I walked the via from the crowded square
And crossed the Ponte alla Grazie where
The Arno’s gray and frothy waters flowed
Between the rock-strewn riverbanks below.
Then out the city’s gate and up the hill,
And up and up the winding road until,
Past hoary chestnuts, firs, and lofty beech,
An ancient churchyard near the top I reached.
And there she stood in silence, cold and pale,
Her back turned to the beauty of the vale.
For copper roofs, for golden stucco homes,
For Brunelleschi’s miraculous dome,
For gothic bell towers gleaming in the sun,
For these, it seemed, the woman cared for none.
Her gaze was fixed upon an unmarked grave,
Her white-veined tears, her grief, the marble saved.
Such loss the sculptor captured there to see!
A widow’s pain? A mother’s tragedy?
There’s a secret bound to lie alone
with the woman carved into the stone.

Here are a couple of pics of the scene itself…


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