Tobacco jostles with wheat fields
crisp green vineyards run in parallel lines
across the first tentative hills.
A village, clustered around a church steeple,
then another village.
Low footpaths embedded with limestone gravel
Grass – darker green and shimmering everywhere –
can this be home to a long distant stranger
Thin narrow valleys winding up into mountains,
pines clinging to steep hills,
pale river stones adrift in molten snow.
The place where we stood and looked over the back of a mountain
in the fading light, vast and solid
more real than anything else around
Grey and white snow clad.
And the delicate way my father ran his hands
along the bark of a larch,
like it was a woman’s skin.