There were seven of us stuffed into
a Volkswagen, the old kind because
this was the fifties, and we were college
students. The girl I was sitting under
in the back seat was telling us that olives
are an aquired taste: either you like them
or you don’t, and I, never having pondered
so weighty an issue (this was my Petersen
pipe-smoking period, and I was puffing
and relighting very aromatic rum-soaked tobacco)
realized I could come down on either side
and made a decision I have never regretted:

I really like olives

Now, at night, when I need something
to take the edge off, I slide a teaspoon
into the tub of stuffed queen olives
adrift in their flavoured olive oil
and soon am munching on one-two-three-four
luscious salty juicy greeny pimento olives
which have for me all the delicious
satisfaction that attends to eating
ripe brie and marmalade
or sausages and saurkraut
without any of the guilt.

olives don’t just satisfy hunger
they satisfy travel and exploration
yearnings as well: they take me
back in my imagination to Tuscany
to the little store that sold
opalescent olive oil and wine
made in their own vinyards
and I can remember walking along the
mountainside road near the villa
we were renting near Castellina in Chianti
I remember the yellowish gravel,
the little sign we often saw outside each farm
“Vin Sante” and that was the drink
for Sundays with hard little biscotta
of course there were the elegant cyprus trees
so typical of Italy and the rows of vines
and olive trees and a kind of millennial peace
that just hung over the place as it seems to
over any farming countryside.

Some early life decisions are good

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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