Claire Donohue Roof


Italian Vacation


There is Assisi after the days in impossible Rome and jeweled Florence.
We are a pair without the three children staying at your parents in Mezzo Lombardo.
The sky is simple blue through the white nun windows, and there is a breeze.


You, blond and wondering, know the hillsides are filled with wild daisies that I love.
The smooth churches of Francis and Clare face one another in the golden country.
Church bells ring out the hours in a rhythm of Catholic markers.
Our room is large and in that space, we will make love in the early morning.
With the breeze will go our marriage, already beyond this trip of saving face.


The cobblestone streets, the red geraniums, the boys playing with sticks, are stunning in
their grace beyond our hidden mourning. I no longer believe in any one thing you do.
You no longer love me. But you are trapped by this marriage, by all that know us, by the
children that share us, by your parents that arranged this trip to Italy. Somehow, this
extravagance irritates your exit plans with dove singing hope you do not wish to have.


There is the sweet Assisi air that romances the now dead dream of us.
We go along with the lilting language of the countryside to lure us to safety.
The saints of Assisi cannot save us. The world here is a sacred place to end.


Claire Roof

Claire Donohue Roof is an assistant professor of English at Ivy Tech Community College, South Bend, Indiana. She teaches English Composition and Intro to Creative Writing. Her poems have appeared in the DeepWater Literary JournalCaKe, A Journal of Poetry and Art, and the Common Ground Review, A Poetry Journal. She has also had a poem accepted for publication in Pirene’s Fountain, A Journal of Poetry 10th Anniversary Edition for Fall, 2018. She teaches English Composition and Introduction to Creative Writing.