Here in a Sicilian courtyard,
under a palm
we speak of times past with Anna
in the garden and her beloved
forgotten fruits

the sorb apple, quince and mulberry

we bloody our hands with juice
and pick less forgotten figs high up
in the tree

we are surrounded by 1000 acres
of vines and olive trees with a canopy

of blue sky that fades slowly into
dusk with a pink blush that matches
the Rose’ that we drink

for an aperitivo with a crostino
of fresh ricotta and anchovy

the night is as quiet as the moon that
promises to be full, for tomorrow will
bring more flavors to the forefront
to fulfill our Sicilian dreams.

Written in Sicily at Casa Vecchie, Regaleali, the wine estate of Tasca D’Almerita.

I have been visiting Anna Tasca Lanza for 15 years. Her daughter Fabrizia came on the scene a few years ago, to work in tandem with her mother. Unfortunately, Anna died a year ago, July, unexpectedly. I had last seen Anna in 2009 and had not been back to Sicily until this September. I felt quite sad to be without her there. Yet, Fabrizia filled her shoes so brilliantly, I thought surely that I must keep coming back, if nothing else to see how far Anna’s trees had grown and taste the fruit from year to year. This simple poem is a tribute to her.  Anna not only left her trees to us, she left Fabrizia to carry her muse forward.