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Contributor: Ron Yazinski

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With its hills and cobblestones
Rome takes a toll on the feet.
After walking through the catacombs of San Callista,
We were struggling our way to the site of Quo Vadis,
Where Peter, escaping from the Mamertine Prison,
Met Jesus on the Appian Way, walking towards Rome.

“Where are you going?” he asked his Lord,
Who answered that he is going to be crucified a second time
Because Peter is too cowardly to do it;
At which Peter, humiliated, returns to Rome
For his inverted crucifixion.

Inside the Church built on this spot,
The guide book says, are a pair of footprints in stone,
Supposedly left by Christ as he stood his ground there on the Appian Way.
But our own feet are swollen from days of sightseeing.
We only limp as far as the field in which a flock of ewes

Are lying next to their snowy newborn lambs.
The mothers baa low, and their babies answer in their high pitched response.
Again and again, dozens of them, in a chorus of life,
Which we consider enough of a miracle for one day,
And so we return to the bus.

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Ron Yazinski is a retired English teacher, who with his wife Jeanne, divides his time between Pennsylvania and Winter Garden, Fl. His work has appeared in many journals. His one collection is SOUTH OF SCRANTON.


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