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you are not there

We are taking the little one for a ride on her new sled. It is bright orange, with a fuzzy black and white seat cover to keep her extra warm. Her tiny hands in tiny gloves hold the sides as tight as she can. I pull her down a path, shouting "woohooo" and then she replies "woohoo". N's turn is next, pulling her more schoolgirl than mother for a few minutes. There are other parents with children on sleds passing us. Their eyes straight forward, faces completely blank they slip by in silence. I flash a smile to them, and they do not even look at me. I am not there, just another tree leaning towards the stream that runs below.

There are ducks still, flapping around the brackish water and we throw pieces of stale bread to them. I start to think, not about the complete absence of smiles in this culture. I stopped asking about that long ago, told over and again that smiles are reserved for home, behind closed doors. But I wonder, for the children -  these wiggling bu…

impossible


The sun does not seem real in Moscow. I can't believe it comes up so early. The green grass and the trees bursting with leaves overnight are all fake. There are tiny oceans of tulips bobbing in the breeze that I know were not there yesterday. They were planted in the middle of the night.

Sparrows are chirping, dancing around rain puddles. I push E on the swings for a long time. She seems taller than she was a week ago, her face longer, her hand larger in mine. She did not write any stories when I was away, but made a lot of drawings of girls sitting in restaurants.



I know we were in Rome, then Florence, then orange green Bologna and a day half-rainy, half-sunny in Venice. I remember the people staring out of windows, or waiting on quiet corners. I remember waitresses, and busy kitchens glimpsed from the street. There were acres of statues and museums that we ignored, concentrating on espresso cups, fixated on bitter apertifs and cold glasses of wine.


I emptied my pockets of lucky pennies, throwing them in every fountain we passed. 
I know there was a flight, and my ears got plugged up. I know we came back in the middle of the night and curled up in bed and I took E the next day. 
The rest is impossible. 







Comments

liv said…
Wow, Italy looks beautiful. Great photos.

Hope the writing went well.
SHAR said…
Really really fabulous photo's Marco, great to see them.....

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