April morning and out beyond the city,
the hills are strung with vineyards,
church towers and rows of cypress trees.
A patch of olive in thick strokes of silvery green.
No wilderness of laundrettes or builders’ yards
leech from the suburb’s ragged edge.
Just a stone farmhouse nestling beneath
red-scalloped tiles in bold perspective.
It might be a Renaissance painting,
where down in the valley a shoeless
shepherd sits minding his flock,
as a soldier in colourful hose goes riding by.
It’s not difficult to believe it’s 1553
and you’re looking out at the world through
a window; straight down the road
as far as the eye can see, where parallel lines
converge towards a single vanishing point, as if it is the future.
by Sue Hubbard