Arezzo. Casa Petrarch.
Walking Arezzo two wet hours, we pass
by Petrarch’s, hardly stopping when his door
is locked: it’s supposed to open at this hour,
according to the guide book, but it’s not and no one wants
to linger waiting for the appearance
of some annoyed employee on the other
side, just reading a novel through the downpour,
nothing poetic, or, having spent last
night up arguing with her shiftless husband,
that spendthrift cheat, catching up on needed
rest, wrestling in her underwater dreams
with bill collecting mermen, turned
out in purple tails, neck-ties, and fresh-trimmed
scales, weighing, while we dash for a train, her options.
Wendy Vardaman (website) lives in Madison, Wisconsin and is the author of Obstructed View (Fireweed Press). She works for The Young Shakespeare Players, a children’s theater company, co-edits Verse Wisconsin, and does not own a car.