Down in the lobby three elderly women, bored.
Take up, with their knitting, the Passion of Our Lord
        As the universe and the tiny realm
Of the pensionAccademia,” side by side.
With TV blaring, sail into Christmastide,
        A look-out desk-clerk at the helm.

And a nameless lodger, a nobody, boards the boat,
A bottle of grappa concealed in his raincoat
        As he gains his shadowy room, bereaved
Of memory, homeland, son, with only the noise
Of distant forests to grieve for his former joys.
        If anyone is grieved.