BellaOnline Literary Review
Tampa Bay Sunset by Lisa Shea

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When in Rome, Learn from the Flowers

LindaAnn Lo Schiavo

Pink bougainvillea in Rome: it flirts
With you, observing tourists, lost or cross,
Discovering it suddenly behind
Native globed heads in artichoke beds, framed
Loud blossoms licking up the light. Perhaps
Where palms are scattering slim shade on bricks
Or blocks of broken marble it appears,
Regarding you retracing steps, distressed,
Lest you should miss some ruins, eternal bronze,
Le terme di Caracalla. Dov´ è

And then it shakes its hair: long grapey red,
Mature, royal purple bougainvillea.
Untamable, these woody vines outside
Time keep hitchhiking on Italian breeze.
Green tumbles over relics, wills itself
In cracks, until it stakes you far afield
From tomba di Cecilia. Ready to yield?

You’ve come, arranging Rome to grow inside
Untended, martyring the moment, numbed
And bougainvillea-blind — — till absolved
By flowers, cleansed of clocks, your soul’s involved.

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