XVI. Reflections

The Story Torcello Told Tomaso

As a boy, Tomaso harvested the olive vineyards of Sicily.
As a prisoner, the vines of Torcello.

Day upon day in the daze of heat, chains bound to his neck, sweat drenching his back,
he would pluck at earthy fruits and dwell in years out of reach.

۩

Thirteen.
The age he had first heard the word. Terrone. 

One Summer, the Sun had not shone with it’s usual pride,
and profits of olio did nothing for Almari Fortune. Tomaso, his father, and his brother traveled to Firenze in hunt for lavoro (labor/work).

They took seven of their best mosaics, between them all that they could carry.
Ceramic pots studded with millefiori (multicoloured glass), glass tureens melted with aventurine, potted vase with Sage green and Chrystal yellow tiles, the colori of Sicilia.

At the chime for Market, recognized because their own was similar, they set up on the bank side, eager to sell.
“Listen to chiacchierio (chatter), for murmurs of work” instructed their father.

But from the flurrying crowd, Tomaso heard only whispers of hostility, whispers of loathing.
Schifoso. Terrone. Di Cazzo.

Through a thousand faces, he spotted a father with two sons, standing, starring. Not a word passed their lips, not one word needed to.
Six eyes burned with resentment.

In the reflection of Ceramica, he saw the weather in his fathers skin, the dirt under his nails, the scuro deep in his pupils.
This was the first time he had seen his family through their eyes. And he realised they were different.

Tomaso covered the ears of his brother, and hoped his eyes were too innocent to see.

© elenaxtina.com, 2015

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