I used to be jealous of friends

who holidayed in Greece

or Italy. But all

they brought back was a tan

and photographs of one another

in t-shirts, looking fat.

Behind there’d be

the Bridge of Sighs, or the Aegean Sea.


And all they ever talked about was food.

Goat cheese, white peaches, cheap wine, the two ice-cream

shops in Florence

not to be missed, the endless little restaurants

in which proud patrons serve 

a procession of courses, a salad, plus a bombe

for the price of a Pret sushi pack.

Or how they’d lived for weeks just like a peasant,

eating bread and olives on a beach.


I could learn more at an evening class.

Also, sometimes I think

it’s who (not where) you are which puts

things out of reach.



First published in Staple