Beatrice Protino

Cantilena della terra


Singsong of the land.

Through the window of the train, which would have carried her far away, she saw her land – the land of her grandparents, of her memories – pass before her eyes.
She saw red plains of clods turned inside out and, in the distance, slightly wavy hills, green or bare, rocky hills; she saw the olive trees, a plenty of them: old, wailing, big trees, with their branches eaten away by age, ants and crickets – knotted, pierced and hollow branches.
Among lime-white farms, surrounded by spikes of stork’s-bills, she saw rows of vines, bent by young, dark and light grapes’ bunches; she saw circles of bees’ wings, turns of hands, of porous women cries; untiring ballet of dancing hands, of vats, of black heavy vats on mighty shoulders, of roughed, gnarled and red hands; and once again land, sunny borderland, stony and fig-tree land, touched of white tuff’s powder; land of sea, of an azure, deep sea; noise of fish, meeting place of sea-gulls and fishermen; land of flat roofs, of hung clothes, of scattered doves’ colours; land of old people, of little rascals, of unceasing crickets.
Land’s land, home land.