como’s cobblestone roads

they stand side by side along the water, tall man in red pants, short man in blue. shirts tucked in, watching the sky unfold like laundry. i tiptoe past but they see, turn, watch me go. silent in the creases of a foreign land, my flip-flops skidding the surface of a cobblestone road.

morning is an anxious lover here: it doesn’t wait for invitation, but steps brightly through my hotel window. i welcome it. pull back the white blinds, step out onto a balcony inch-deep in warmth. below me, the lake, blue as my baby’s booties which i bought in an italian store downtown. around me, a cradle of mountains. i never tire of the way the rock tears jagged into clouds, pulling out white stuffing which floats softly into lake.

later i’ll eat spaghetti alla carbonara (spaghetti with bacon and eggs), or perhaps an entire ‘personal pizza’. wine is cheap, dregged straight from the grape vines which straddle rooftops. i watch my friends’ throats; see grapes slide down in a wash of clear liquid. yearn.

as we walk we pray we won’t die for the unmarked roads and the cars doing 70 miles per hour down side streets. i tuck a hand around my womb, hold my baby tight against me. “i love you aiden,” i whisper. he is my lifeline. i feel his tiny heart beat through my cotton dress. his feet tapping gentle, saying “stay strong mama.” and so i do. even as i weep for the beauty of the place i smile, a rainbow, strip of oil in foggy rain.

and flying home i read over notes inked down from days’ full of writing, sentences which scratch the essence of words, lessons taught by teachers so humble-bestselling authors who know well the rake of rejection-and i marinate. in what has been, and what will be.



  1. Teneale said,

    June 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Sounds like a life changing experience. I’m so glad you drank it all in, and that your special little one could share it with you! But I’m also glad you are home, safe and sound. love you

  2. July 1, 2009 at 2:47 am

    You take us there with you…. every. single. word.

    Dare I ask: more?

    DH handed my Vision Ministries newsletter tonight for me to read an article… and on the next page? An Emily article!

    Yes… more, please….

    All’s grace,

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