The Tiber’s olive waters curve past
Umbertide or, rather, the town curves
to the river in this limpid valley
alive with oak trees, willows, poplars
and millennia of settlements,
monuments – Etruscan, Roman, Lombard.
To impede the German’s retreat northwards,
the Allies bombed the bridge across the river
successfully and, collaterally,
razed a block of tall, narrow houses –
and many of their inhabitants.
The house numbers are brass inlaid in the setts
of what is now a car park in this
medieval town with its Via Papa