Venial Joys

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17th century bronze wild boar fountain, just sitting there in a market in Florence being adorable and quietly making people happy

Hot fresh-broiled tuna, melting from the grill;
The powder-softness of new-fallen snow;
The bite of air that’s cold but does not chill;
Dumplings, good friends, and low-cloud sunset glow.

The well-meant courtesy of chance-met folk;
Books laid out straight along a well-made shelf;
Snow, blown from rooftops, streaming up like smoke;
Sweet fudge on yokki that I made myself.

For if this time ask nothing in return
I freely give the scents, the words, the soul,

To any passer-by who cares to learn
The small joys of my life, of living whole

Small goods against the darkness, offered here,
But roll my eyes at those who call this “mere”.

January 3rd 2004