My Florence

Half a millennium of footsteps

crossed this courtyard,

five centuries of ghosts

hang around in doorways

as a bright, new moon

sits low in the sky,

offering no prayer

to small devils that spit at stars,

or a lost woman

who follows a different path.

Florence is full of magic boxes

spellbound by humanity,

and centuries of Christ.

Yet secrets hide behind huge doors

and apartments sway to a night,

where cornered sound betrays the ear,

and silence

is simply an afterthought.

This city knows me like no other.

Was it accident or luck that found me?

Where cobbles bite stilettos

and gypsy women curse sleep

beneath striped blankets,

their future protected by tiny Fiats

and lop-sided scooters,

sentinels of the years.

Tomorrow's house sparrows bring sun,

and sun, indulgent mamas

frilling up the ice cream parlour with heat.

There is always heat,

captured tonight

by slim, hemmed streets;

and to touch both walls

feels almost painless.

Stella Jones lives on the Wirral in the UK, and is married with two grown sons. She has been writing poetry for about twelve years and is a regular performer on the open mike scene. She has co-miked poetry nights with the aim of encouraging new and established poets to perform before an audience. Stella has been involved with the Wirral Festival of Firsts and other poetry events which bring the world of poetry to the public. She has been lucky enough to be published by a variety of magazines and her work appears in several anthologies. She has also enjoyed some success in poetry competitions. At present Stella is discovering the delights of tanka.

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