He stepped out of the ghetto,
a shawl of red wool flannelled
his face like a painted Pierrot
a mask of surprise in his eyes.
His little feet
trotted on the stones of the calle,
his hand’s grip on her shoulder,
as she led him
through gates that had shut him
in each night under squat towers,
his old watchers.
The canal gleamed in front of him
like a silk thread trailing his past,
where houses, shoulder to shoulder,
leaned silent, closed to the white
shock of his face.
So they traced a way through the crowd
of empty tourists, only his shadow
left on the campo.
CAROLE CHRISTINA JACOBS