That spring, Lina the cook made Italy
into a new map for us –all green–
as the crop of fresh peas slowly

crept northwards to Florence.
“These are from the Marches”, she’d say.
The next week – “from Umbria”.

We felt them rising, urgent as a flood.
Each day at supper, the new peas soloed
on our plates – tiny globes

dressed with flecks of rosy ham,
ambrosial to our tongues.
At last –late May– Lina sailed

into the dining-room, platter held high
in triumph overhead: Piselli nostrani!
She announced, “Our very own peas!”

We bowed over our plates, we tasted.
Was anything ever so good?
The children hushed, spooning them in.

For ten days, we reveled.
Then the season was over. The tide
gone on to Bologna — Milano — Turin

–who knows? Flowing greenly
up into the passes, over the Alps.
In Florence, it was time for morels.