These People Eat Together

like really together

the wine from their glasses all of the same jar

binding each person as if by blood –

and suddenly I’m there too.

The cool summer breeze wafts the scent of fragrant fields

across the space

I’m carried in a whirlwind of sounds

of smells and flavors

of life

lifted clean off my feet and transported into this other world

this place where people eat together.


The fragrant damp of the river at night embraces me,

and nestled within the folds of the Umbrian foothills

I am shaded

by the ancient spirit of this place of awe.

Clitumnus invites me to partake of his delights –

the fresh springs sustaining the purest sacrifices of old

the olive trees standing gnarled in all their wisdom

the geraniums in every window sill.

I hide myself behind the curtain of the willow tree

that grows on the side of the mountain

I kiss the leaves

and ask the Universe how I could be so blessed

to see such a place as this.


I see history through the cracks in the walls

of Lombard sanctuaries and Gothic churches,

these testaments to the power of place

to inspire awe

to transport minds

to draw together all these people

these people who truly eat together.

Samantha Grossman is a first-year student at Smith College.
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