Ron Pretty

August 6

We walked the lanes of the old town, the bars
and restaurants, the cobbled streets choked with tourists.
Tourists ourselves, we wandered with the crowds,
looking for deals, looking for food. Cheap pasta,
dearer fish: uncontaminated sea bass. My wife picked up
her fish knife, then put it down. I looked at her, tears
in her eyes. Fish, she said. Enola Gay, she said,
the waters off Japan so long and now again.
I watched a small boy struggling past, forcing his stroller
across the cobbles, his parents behind him, laughing.
Three girls, their dark hair and bright eyes. The bass
was moist and finely flavoured, the pinot grigio dry
and fruity. She sat there staring at her plate. I can’t, she said.
Always a half-life: us away, the children at home.

 
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