February 24 2010

Vincenza’s Vespa – A Poem

Vincenza’s Vespa

a poem by Simon Camilleri  7/4/08

Vincenza’s fuel efficient, two-wheeled, sleek and stylish Vespa

zooms around the city ducking and weaving between trams and traffic jams

parking wherever it wants and flying away without leaving a trace

A black buzzing beauty

But the girl sitting on her brown leather back is not named Vincenza.

Vincenza was my grandma

She left us money that she had stored in her house over decades.

As a secret hope might be stored away in one’s heart,

this money grew and grew

but was never used to fulfil its intended dream.

In the end it had to be cleaned from the mouse poo and dust that had built up around it

and finally it was distributed to all the grandchildren.

It came with a solemn warning

This is a gift from Vincenza

Carry with it her dreams

Time passed

and Vincenza’s gift was placed in an account that could not be touched

There it was stored, as a dream of happiness might be stored away in a lover’s heart,

and there it grew.

Vincenza’s gift was safe and secure

whilst the world outside fell to pieces.

The lover’s separated

and after seven months, the girl insisted on taking her share

She had a right, she said

And all at once Vincenza’s gift became something that was mine and hers

Something that should be split in half

to maintain consistency with the state of our hearts.

Vincenza and her dreams were forgotten

and her gift was broken in two.

The money, for that is all it was now, was quickly spent

To pay back debts and deal with financial insecurities

and also to buy a shiny new Vespa.

Now a year and a half has passed

And the Vespa still buzzes around the city

An occasionally painful reminder to me of Vincenza’s gift,

and her unfulfilled dreams,

and that broken solemn warning

and it all stinks

as the mouse poo and dust begins to build once more

For the girl never steers that Vespa in the direction of Vincenza’s son and his wife

Who still live and breath and love her like a daughter

Or Vincenza’s grandson

Who still tries to keep safe that dream of happiness

that was once stored away in a lover’s heart

And though she was there when Vincenza’s spirit breathed its last

And though she was there when Vincenza’s body was laid to rest in the ground

She doesn’t even steer that Vespa in the direction of Vincenza’s graveside

To at least say thank you for the ride.


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Posted February 24, 2010 by Simon in category "Poetry", "Relationships", "Separation/Divorce


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