Pizza at Vesuvius

We came

Down slowly from

Atop Vesuvius,

Having climbed

To the crater

And wondered about

And imagined

The horror of

Its explosion

So long ago,

In 79,


It rolled its

Great weight

Over the towns

Below and

Buried them

In expectation

Of the tourism

Of modern times.


And we stopped

Half way down

For lunch

At a little pizza place

Obscured behind

The trees of the slope;

It was waiting for us

To arrive looking

For the authentic

Taste of Italy.


Sitting at a table

We looked around

The place with 70s

Decor and watched

The faces of

Bus loads of tourists

Wanting to taste

The slopes and

Say they were

Here to their grandchildren

Back home.


We waited an age

For the pizza to come,

But waiting is part of

This ancient place

Where time is measured

From antiquity and

So is pizza,

It seems.


At last it came

In all its cheesy red glory,

Steaming hot

And melting,

Cheese stringing

And faces aglow

With the richness of

It’s taste.


Buffalo mozzarella

And tomatoes grown

On the slopes of Vesuvius

Were the simple

And earthy ingredients,

Sitting snugly on top

Of hand thrown dough.


We ate the pizza with

A ravaging glee and we

Talked and thought

About the fertile slopes

That created this

Gastronomic marvel,

The same slopes

Down which the volcano

Poured its fury

And the gods took their

Revenge on the people

Who lived and breathed,

Loved and died

At the bottom of the slope.