the weird intimacy of tires, pressing rubberlips onto the road//&where this journey starts

trier, marketplace

trier, marketplace


the market place shines yellow
in the half-dark
“loving those street lights–”  i say
&my daughter smiles
“the city gate impressed me more
than the leaning tower of pisa”

&we carry
bits and pieces of our breath
under our coats
the night wind
“so tomorrow you’ll collect your bike?” i ask
“check out the university?”

we drove here on jammed streets,
passing Strasbourg
“never made it back there” i say
cappuccino in a rest-stop on the highway
&the rain pours beats
we don’t know

the beauty about traveling
is in its essence, smell, the rub of tires on a road,
&marks we leave
as we move on
it’s in the small things, in the way the light leans carefully
against her cheeks

in a turkish snack bar
we eat lahmacun and yoghourt sauce drips down my arms
into our drinking in
the city’s fragrance,

small bumps//curves of cobblestone,
throw sepia shades
as we walk to her new flat
that she shares
with a future lawyer&a girl with angel hair,

“it smells of change” i say
to the old roman city gate, built in the year180 after Christ
“it shrunk 4 meters since then,
one day you will too mom& i’m taller then”
we link arms,
and on my back i feel the Porta Nigra winking//

with soft, charcoal sparkling eyes



Gabriella has us write travel poetry at dVerse today… doors open at 3pm EST..


43 responses to “the weird intimacy of tires, pressing rubberlips onto the road//&where this journey starts

  1. The Porta Nigra made quite an impression on me when I saw it. I enjoyed going back with you to Trier with you today and strolling in the town. Eating out is always a fun part of traveling and I would not mind trying this Turkish snack bar.

  2. Some travels are very memorable…especially those, I think, with city gates that are impressive and with sights and sounds that make a mark on a person & have the smell of change! And, ha, with time everything indeed does shrink!!

  3. I felt a biter sweetness to this poem. Nice to travel with your daughter, but this marks the beginning of a big change, an ending. And we grieve all endings.
    I love the words you use to describe the city. Never been there, ’til now, in your words. Take care Claudia.

  4. Lovely intimate moment in a charming old town – a memory to treasure, but also, ah, that smell of change. Good luck to your daughter at university… and to you!

  5. Yes, travel is not just about seeing, but experiencing the place and the time and the persons with us with all of our senses. This is an intimate portrait of your time with your daughter as you go through a city and life changes.

  6. I love the intimate snapshot of inhaling the city’s fragrance ~ What an interesting city gate, thanks for the lovely painting as well ~

  7. A terrific piece, Claudia, rife with the sense memories as well as imagery. Your 2nd stanza really stands out for me. You know, with as much traveling as you have done, & continue to do; this prompt was tailored to your poetic voice. Through you & your poetics I have traveled right alongside you.
    Good that your daughter is growing up but tough to face the empty nest & the separation.

    • lovely write. I enjoyed the glimpse into this moment with your daughter.

      the lines “&marks we leave / as we move on” is lovely…it has me wondering of not just the marks we leave behind, but the ones we take with us having spent the time we did there.

  8. This read is SO wonderfully constructed (inspired?) that I hate to mess it up with…
    When I was a child, a favorite place to go on Sunday morening after mass, between breakfast and dinner was Strassburger Bakery Shop. In Cincinnati, Ohio, it was owned by an Aunt and Uncle, named Strassburger. My whole family (I have traced back to 1701) came from Alsace, Hence last name Elsaesser (we were the Germans, of course, none of my people spoke French, UGH! –grin!) Oh…family consisted of Farmers, Bakers, Innkeepers, and finally…one violinist, ME…

    As you write your feelings, smells, awarenesses, I am settled right there in the midst of the “old country” we used to say. OH HOW I LOVED this piece, Claudia. You are named on my Gratitude List

  9. That watercolor sketch is a new favorite – You keep getting better and better. The poem is wonderful and I adore the idea of such an old city smelling like “change”. Loved the immediacy of this poem – well, so many of your poems are like this – fresh of the page. 🙂

  10. You really have a talent for creating wonderful images with your words. I love the joy of this trip. Lovely read, Claudia!


  11. … this poem make me cry and revert to baby language and make me cry some more, C … mumme, don’t cry … so much emotion in this … omg, C … witch of words … mmmh … blessed be …

  12. Yes, the essence of traveling..the details….it’s the “marks we leave
    as we move on
    it’s in the small things, in the way the light leans carefully
    against her cheeks
    I love this poem

  13. “and the rain pours beats we dont know yet”…..beautiful traveling with one’s daughter, Claudia…taking her to where her own journey begins and yours begins to change..LOVE your marketplace sketch, and the verbal sketches you give us here in this wonderful poem. Love the image of the rain on her cheeks, and her telling you one day you’ll shrink, too. Ha.It happened to me. One day I was surrounded by six footers! I tried to use the line from On Golden Pond about what were dwarves for if they didnt do chores, and they pointed out I was the shortest person in the room. Hee hee.

  14. “it shrunk 4 meters since then,
    one day you will too mom& i’m taller then”

    Almost spontaneous reply! Just goes to show daughter is a very alert person with lots of humor too! Great write Claudia!