By The River Arno

Every morning, on
Calle Lungarno in Florence,
the townsfolk
would see
the grand poet, Dante,
at the foot of the
Santa Trinita Bridge.
There, connected
the two sides
of the Arno River.
And there, his daily vigil,
stood he content
with no greater patience.
Over time, onlookers
vexed and puzzled,
somewhat a folly,
the great poet, a statue.
The townspeople would laugh,
and look to the sky,
in the event a bird
might wont to perch.
A chance he might see
her, perhaps
even a word.
And so, he’d wait.
For, he knew, certainly
hoped, more so,
fervently prayed,
one day she would appear.
And all the while,
she, Beatrice, his beloved
muse to the poet
that she were,
yet knew not,
even though she
guided his every thought,
his very existence.
His faith unshakeable,
one day her grace,
by Grace would appear,
with wont, simply,
to traverse the bridge.
And so, through the years,
the question begged, even
taunted, and one day,
courage garnered,
one brave soul, queried.
“Master, all these years,
your patience inexhaustible
and yet, she has
never given you
so much as a worthless
brass florin, or
even a mindless second look.
How can your patience be?
Why is it that you
wile away the hours,
and waste away the years,
only to torture yourself?”
He smiled, and
simply retorted,
“What if
my beloved Beatrice
were to appear
in this very place,
and smile, and
I am not here to see it?”
—By Martin A. Bojan—
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