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A roma woman, cradling a child, sits

cross-legged in a tie-and-dye dress and begs

from fur-coated women strolling beneath

the portico of the Pavaglione.

Enamelled photos of resistance fighters

are displayed on the side of the Town Hall.

Where the bomb blasted the station wall,

the crack has been crystallised in plate glass.


Nicolò Dell’Arca’s terracotta

pietà, its smug patron as Joseph

of Aramathea, with a concerned

angel as onlooker, portrays four women,

mothers petrified in distress, in despair,

in that grief which threatens breath and heartbeat.



© Copyright David Selzer

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