Imagined Life in an Uncrowded Scene
In early April the bus from Lecce
unloads us at the fabled fish market.
The place is shuttered down, not even
the scent of chowders past lingering
in the air. The only hint of June’s
full fare is one slight stall where we
might taste the slimmest feast from the sea.
Our pre-season stroll through the town
finds the walkways of Gallipoli
totally negotiable, no clump
of photographers enthralled
by weathered or whitewashed walls
selects, collects, and edits images
while others still in line are stalled.
From the piazza we look down
upon the moored boats, a fleet
of white and blue at rest, sails furled.
The slips are full, all expectant still.
No one putters with paint or repairs
a necessary cloth in this week
before the moveable feast.
On the beach’s sand and seawrack
where summer’s bodies will soon
arrive, accumulate and over-
lap in ever-increasing heat,
a single person, a young man,
and his dog are the only creatures.
Their toss/fetch game is photographed.
In the Mercato, nothing is
for sale; but its facilities
require no wait, leaving us time
for questing tongues to lick
a taste of the local gellati
on a bench before the patient sea
until the bus beckons us to leave.
Copyright © Bill Keen | Year Posted 2019
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