I will be going on my first great trip.
A voyage over the ocean.
Over the brooding Atlantic,
into the south latitude of Europe,
to arrive in Rome.
I am going where some of the blood
in my veins once flowed.
Blood now as varied as the tides
of the sea.
Older even than the eternal city,
with its dead Colosseum,
and drapes tattered and torn.
Oh if only I were young again.
If I could be surprised,
see faces in rains,
touch mosaics unscarred by time,
walk on the banks of the Tiber
and say, I am the first human here.
I will go north then into France,
see the pale enchantment of Paris,
and go away buried by gardens and streets.
Then onto London,
hearing my language,
musing at the city’s grayness,
longing to return to the relative emptiness
I will not see what I expect to see,
or hear what I’ve been led to believe.
My parochial soul sensing the new
like the shore
littered with treasure after a storm.
I don’t know.
I will not see the grave of my brother’s bones,
or walk alone down avenues of trees,
or feel the wind
rush through my hair in the Alps.
It is a school outing,
a camp trip,
a stroll through a museum,
unless something comes my way,
a cellar full of ghosts,
a remembrance of the past.
Or my heart telling me,
home in Ohio
is the most beautiful of countries,
where in the end,
my journey will take me,
amid ordinary sounds and smells,
I know as well as my hand.