It was early, and in the still-shaded
back canals, narrow and scented
of ancient waters, only rippled
at that moment, their usual state,
some of the gondoliers were
just untethering their gondolas.
Ours (the seven of us early risers,
especially the littlest ones) called out
to his friends and they to him,
their tones up and down and around,
spiraling the scale in mellow notes,
a spring shower of tones.
Instantly I knew (it has to be!)
why Italy is the mother and father
and lover of opera.
© Carol Hamilton
Carol Hamilton is retired from teaching 2nd grade through graduate school in Connecticut, Indiana, and Oklahoma, and from storytelling and medical translating. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has published 19 chapbooks and books: children’s novels, legends, and poetry and has been nominated ten times for a Pushcart Prize. She has won a Southwest Book Award, Oklahoma Book Award, David Ray Poetry Prize, Warren Keith Poetry Award, and a Chiron Review Chapbook Award.