Jack Gilbert

(1925 - / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

In Umbria


Once upon a time I was sitting outside the cafe
watching twilight in Umbria when a girl came
out of the bakery with the bread her mother wanted.
She did not know what to do. Already bewildered
by being thirteen and just that summer a woman,
she now had to walk past the American.
But she did fine. Went by and around the corner
with style, not noticing me. Almost perfect.
At the last instant could not resist darting a look
down at her new breasts. Often I go back
to that dip of her head when people talk
about this one or that one of the great beauties.


Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Walter Durk (9/8/2006 6:46:00 PM)

    I like the simplicity of this narrative poem. It expresses the young womans modesty as well as her sexual awakening, and I can envision Jack Gilbert at the cafe with a glass of wine, absorbing this scene. (Report) Reply

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