Poems of the Week

The Canceled Tourist

by Gail White

I was dreaming of gelato.
“More sambuca!” was my motto.
Now, because of travel strictures
I’ve torn up my passport pictures—
Tiramisu, how I’ll miss you—
Italy’s shut down.

Deeply I deplore the menace
of a virus haunting Venice,
and the thought of shuttered Florence
fills me with a deep abhorrence.
Influenza stalks Pienza,
once my favorite town.

Every canceled Tuscan city
adds to my extreme self-pity,
as from Rome to Lampedusa
all the country is chiusa.*
Now I mope and have no hope.
I cannot cope
When Italy shuts down.