Iowa Writes

ANNICE FREDERICK
Roman Evening


The street vendor folded
the wings of his windup
bird and put away the
lighted yo-yos. His day
was done, though we were still
wound up and lights were on
the fountains. We had climbed
the winding stairs of Saint
Peter's dome to view Rome
from the rooftops, stood awed
before Michelangelos
and Raphaels, gone down
the Spanish Steps and drunk
from the fountain at the foot.

The street vendor folded
the wings of his windup
bird and put away the
lighted yo-yos. His day
was done, though we were still
wound up and lights were on
the fountains. We had climbed
the winding stairs of Saint
Peter's dome to view Rome
from the rooftops, stood awed
before Michelangelos
and Raphaels, gone down
the Spanish Steps and drunk
from the fountain at the foot.
The steps were lined with people
enjoying multilingual
chatter and the spraying
water sounds. The plastic bird
had flown, white winged, against
evening-darkened buildings,
circling, returning to the
vendor's hand. We left the
square and serpented through
narrow streets, backtracking,
laughing, unfolding maps
and moving on. Rounding
a dark corner, we came
upon the Pantheon's vast
form, face lightened by moon
and street light. Pantheon,
"all deities," by architects
who challenged earthquakes.
I caught my breath a moment
as the ancient edifice
seemed suspended in time
and space. There it stood, base
lower than the streets and
columns rising. Ray took
my hand and we shot back
in time a moment. Then
the laughter urged us on
and we rejoined the group
that didn't know we'd left it.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


ANNICE FREDERICK

Annice Frederick has a BA in Art from the University of Iowa. She has been published in Lyrical Iowa, See Magazine, and Moments in Time.

This page was first displayed
on July 11, 2006

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