Sheryl Guterl writes from sunny New Mexico, where she enjoys all things outdoors. Walking her dog, riding her bike, and hiking in the mountains are sources of great pleasure. Now retired from her career as an elementary school teacher and counselor, Sheryl volunteers in her community as a docent at the Albuquerque Museum and a tutor for adults learning English as a Second Language.
Poems by Sheryl can be found in The Teacher’s Voice, Workers Write!, The Ravens Perch, The Bethlehem Writers’ Roundtable, Songs of Eretz, The Iris Literary Journal, and several local anthologies.
Four weary tourists slump
into chairs at a sidewalk café
in the Piazza della Rotunda.
A red motor scooter whizzes by
nearly hitting a blond toddler
chasing a yellow balloon.
Honk, screech, mother yells.
Dogs bark, people shout, traffic buzzes.
Children splash in sculpted fountain.
From the shadows of a side street
emerges a slow-moving figure
bent to nearly half her size.
Her gnarled knuckles grip a cane.
One step, feet together, next step, feet together,
a tortoise among frolicking rabbits.
The black-robed crone proceeds,
pauses, sighs, negotiates a slow, so slow, turn.
Almost crawling, she arrives at the steps
of the imposing Pantheon, where she
stops. There. Center stage,
facing the columns and molded bronze doors.
Alone in pain, prayers,
she stays, solid amidst swirl.
After awhile the ancient woman snails
back to the corner, turns, then
vanishes in dark shadows,
having trod her limit
of rough cobblestones and
breathed her share of exhaust-filled air.
After sipping cappuccinos,
consulting maps and brochures,
rested travelers rise to move on,
to enjoy the magnificent city
of epic statues, savory delights,
and romantic music.
This poem was first published online in
The Ravens Perch Literary Magazine, February 17, 2020.
Sun-baked and hardened,
remaining blocks are treasures
from a time of busy life–
of commerce, of fishing,
of baking, of dining,
of oratory, of painting–
crushed by propelled rocks
and buried in hot ash,
remnants of magnificence.
Gridded city streets are etched
with chariot wheel marks.
Citizens lie frozen in positions
of love or work, now monuments
to a lost civilization.
My fork twists
al dente linguine
mixed with olive oil,
garlic, white wine,
clam broth and
plenty of clams,
all sprinkled with parsley.
I sip light, sweet pinot grigio
and savor the tastes of Italy.
Memories flood of waves splashing
on the beach at Positano,
setting sun shimmering
over the sea,
gulls squawking overhead,
warm breeze flickering
the candle light,
the sun sinking,
the moon rising,
and then the stars.
Poetry in this post: © Sheryl Guterl
Published with the permission of Sheryl Guterl