Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Venice, Acqua Alta

No comments

During acqua alta, residents take the floods in stride.
Across the world, I click through photographs while my son naps:
a postman in pea-green, thigh-high boots wades door-to-door;
a quintet of men sets a half-submerged table
with linens, china, crystal, bread, cheese, wine;
a young man wakeboards across the Piazza San Marco.

I see that last one and think, just wait, that will be my son!
Twin helix of panic and pride, at two years old
he is the clamor of a foreign city rising out of a susurrant tide;
a gondolier singing, not steering, no regard to what I ask,
he is all carvings, corridors, canals.

During rainstorms, he stands in the yard, arms open, soaking wet,
happy. He never hears me call him in.

The last time I slept I dreamt of sinking, of water spilling
over the edge of a bathtub. Now I think I must write
an open letter to the Venetian State, to the well-provisioned,
the jovial, and the unafraid, and ask what makes them sure
the city they love will not sink, no matter what waters come.


Violeta Garcia-Mendoza’s poetry and fiction have recently appeared in Kestrel, Coal Hill Review, and Cicada. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and two daughters.


More from



Comments are now closed for this piece.