I came here once before when I was eighteen years old,
When everything was strange and exciting and new,
And coming back here has always been something
That I knew that one day I’d really have to do.
I have just one memory – of exploring on my own,
And finding somewhere in the town a quiet cobbled square.
A water trough or fountain was tinkling in the middle
And no-one was about, except some children playing there.
I had an awkward feeling of being out of place
In that quiet and sleepy village in the depths of Italy.
Like, why was I intruding in someone else’s life?
I think it was the curious looks the children threw at me.
So now, a long time later, I’m back in that small town.
It’s more or less the same, still sleepy, quiet and hot.
There’s the same feeling of – what am I doing here?
But I can travel where I like, so I don’t see why not.
Well, I’ve found a cobbled square with a fountain at one end.
Maybe that was it, but I can’t really say for sure.
I’ve walked all around the old town, camera in hand,
But am frankly too exhausted to keep looking any more.
So perhaps I just ate pizza on the square I’d hoped to find,
Or perhaps it was nearby, down a turning that I missed.
Perhaps it’s been demolished – or was nothing but a dream,
And my square in Chiavenna didn’t ever exist.
Sunday 27 September 2015