Summer House

Joel Sloman

Situated at the end of a long covered walk
my summer house looks out on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

It’s a quiet retreat where I can read or write or be read to.
My car is in the driveway

and the city is just two hours away.
The plush mullein is almost five feet tall.

I think it also grows in Rome
along with yarrow and half the plants in this meadow.

Please do me a favor and find a good painter
and have him copy the marble portraits

of your town’s illustrious native sons.
A friend wants to add them to his villa’s collection.

Vines grasp trellises with gently choking tendrils.
The bird’s call is epigrammatic, like my poems.

Two of the three films Rossellini made with Bergman
have volcanoes in them. My uncle

crossed the bay to get a closer look while I
sat on the shore immersed in my book, ignoring the sparks.

You can prick the earth and watch steam escape,
or walk all around statues excavated from the ashes,

their eyes seeing what’s no longer there.
My uncle was an unusual man.

Ladowich Magazine is available in the Apple Newsstand — — offering just enough poetry and one longread a month. This poem will appear in issue seven, arriving before the new year.

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