Transactions (in Sicilia)
The merchant was polite as I came in
on Monday afternoon to browse for wine,
but conversation happened only when
we spoke the common language of the vine.
A dozen bottles were selected, then
examined, labels studied, line by line,
at last set back into the proper bin,
except for one most likely to taste fine.
It did, so I returned to that same store
throughout the week and found the bill to be
a little less each time. I said no more
than grazie, smiling ever pleasantly.
By Saturday, I had a patron’s status,
awarding me a bar of chocolate gratis.
Jane Blanchard writes: “Transactions, first published in The Tau (2017), appears in my latest collection, In or Out of Season (2020). I am inordinately fond of reading and writing sonnets, perhaps because I studied so many of them while in graduate school. This particular sonnet is anecdotal; its speaker is my husband Jimmy, who accompanied me to Bread Loaf in Sicily in 2013 and wandered around Erice while I was in a workshop led by Stanley Plumly. Currently, it is hard not to feel nostalgic about such experiences.”
A native Virginian, Jane Blanchard lives and writes in Georgia, USA. She has earned degrees from Wake Forest and Rutgers Universities. Her collections to date have been published by Kelsay Books.