These Women

Impressions from Italy

These women speak louder and their minds.

They fight more intensely and forgive more readily, too.

They eat the spaghetti and the pizza and the gelato and the biscotti.

They drink their coffee and their wine and their rum. They smoke their cigarettes.

They make out in public – at thirteen and thirty and ninety-three.

They tango in the main plaza at least once a week. In short dressed and high heels. With different men. At all ages, too.

They put their panties out on the clothesline, no matter how much or little fabric they consist of.

They don’t try to hide from their neighbors; they’ve seen and heard it all anyways.

They love their men and their romance.

They let their kids stay up late and insist on taking siestas.

They attend church and pray the rosary; they wear their crosses and their wedding rings.

Toothless, they beat their childhood girlfriends in chess on Sundays after church.

They live for their families.

These women,

they wear the pants

and still cry

and always remain

so proud.