On the 24th of December,
Two suitcases were packed,
Carried down the cobbled hill,
Two trains were taken,
One from Velletri, one from Rome,
Off to the south our other home,
On arrival a seasonal kiss,
Of relief, we got here in the end,
Sat on a train like a chicken in a cage,
Five hours like that drives you around the bend,
From the window, we saw Naples,
Vesuvio rising like a sore thumb,
We saw Salerno and darkness in Basilicata,
And arriving in Calabria we had a sore bum,
Cousin Pietro greeted us at the station,
Big hugs and Merry Christmas,
Cousin Rosa arrived on her slower delayed train,
And she started yapping straight away,
As we whisked through the countryside in Lamezia,
Everyone was in a rush to reach the table,
A thousand types of homemade food ready,
By the finish, full to bursting, tipsy and unstable,
Finally before her parents,
And so two suitcases abandoned in haste,
Zio Vito was his elegant self,
Saying that my beard has got longer again,
Jackets and hats flung elsewhere,
The odours in the kitchen we could taste,
Like a crowd roars in a stadium,
Voices of parents become loud,
Happy to see us two rascals,
Deep down happy and proud,
Bladders emptied, hands washed,
Time for a quick aperitif,
Master Rocco copied my instructions,
With spumante, ginger and crisps,
Cin cin , happy christmas,
And another seasonal kiss,
The smell of chicken interrupts,
Another dinner we could not miss,
Mamma Maria choose a simple meal,
But with cuisine super tasty,
Chicken and roast potatoes,
Cabbage, again Master Rocco inspired by me,
scaloppine di manzo, braciole di patate,
Cotolette di pollo and bread and cheese,
Homemade red wine to bring you to your knees,
There was lots of fruit as we got tired,
In the end it was a stressful day,
This time we did say no to cake,
But we would eat it the next day,
At the end of the evening a hug,
And a seasonal kiss now with seasoning,
The taste of chicken and lemon,
And red wine on her lips,
Was a kiss that I could not miss,
We could have stayed up longer,
But my eyelids were no longer controlled by me,
After a hectic long trip to Calabria,
Now my eyes they decided not to see,
As the lights went out,
And the stomach full of delight,
We couldn’t wait until christmas day,
Dreams of lasagna and chocolate.

©D.Hobson January 2014