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A Virginian in Apuglia, Italy

I, from another South, stand on warm stones, toffee-colored, lickable: vanilla, cafe latte, caramel brown.

I am in the land of my husband's parenti, ancestors. Broken tiles crumble up from layers below: umber, sienna, colors named for places barely buried.

A rooster crows, chicchirichí , piercing as a back-yard hawk.

Parked amid the fiats, a bright orange British Mini, Confederate Flag painted full-sized on the roof.

I and the Mini are imports. I am the nuora, daughter-in-law, married-in. No family tree, however twisted, roots me here with the old groves, olive, chestnut, trunks thick as elephants.

Phoebe Grigg May 2013

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