• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 09

La Scampagnata

The men play bocce as they have done
since Caesar’s day, cigarette smoke
in their eyes as they stoop to throw the ball
that has worn a groove down the centuries.

The women prepare the food, doughy
hand-rolled strascinati, steamy sugo
thick with pungent tomatoes, garlic,
oregano and this week’s spicy gossip.

Later the Di Bertoli brothers will play
and Ernesto and Rosa will dance under
the stars as they have done for 50 years,
still laughing at the day they missed the boat.