July 12, 2010
The street sweepers here wear suits bright as orange rind and dance with twig brooms.
I see them in the early morning as I stumble across the piazza in the direction of a latte macchiato. They clear the streets of bougainvillea petals and the debris of summer weddings: hearts of confetti, bottles of Asti, handfuls of rice.
And every morning I pray, “Please Signor Sweeper, hold tight! Hold fast to those twigs. Don’t go all plasticky on me.”
I want to weep when I see the changes sweeping Sicily, her Americanization: the new shopping malls plunked down among the olives, the SUVs, the McDonald’s in Upper Ragusa (though grazie a Dio the one in nearby Modica went belly-up).
So I savor the twigs. Because someday soon they’ll disappear, never to return.