(Urbi et Orbi)
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Empty, there's no one here . . .
Signs of former empire, the simple
stations of a pilgrim's life;
A painting on the back wall flaking
...a powerful robed man
with a staff, child on his
shoulders, crosses the river,
Images, names, the sounds of immense
bells slowly fading into the distant past...
An iron cross stands guard over
rows of melted candles;
A lock and chain keep the dogs
out at night.
Watching the spring rain turn to
snow, thinking about the state
of the world.
Paradiso, the Alps, at 1300 meters:
a seven week's journey from Rome.)