The Beginning of the Alps

We ride by Alpine aspen trees and listen to the hum of the bus;
a back beat to the tour guide’s Spanish, English, German, spiel.

Napoleon’s defeat,
Ilba—18-year old daughter of the Austrian Emperor had a forced marriage to Napoleon.
History lesson:
peace treaty,
return home.
cuatro aƱos.

highway and roadside industry, farmland,
concrete and asphalt and corns and grasses,
clear sky.

Cold skin against unfamiliar air conditioning,
benedictine monastery.


Romantic valley of the Wachauw:
apricot trees and vineyards,
sound of horse hooves on cobblestone streets,
kayakers and motorboats pass our tourist barge and 

across the aisle, the George Clooney lookalike 
— if George Clooney had been an accountant instead of an actor — 
smiles at a woman in the next seat.

© Christine Salkin Davis, 2018


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