The Famous Umbrella of Madeira


a tantalizing shape  
over there 
under the bananas
an umbrella 
we crane our necks
peering through the bus windows
 
a stone monument
a domestic relic,  
fallen from pride of place
protection, generosity, a metaphor
for all homes, come enter under the
umbrella  
 
what a lovely symbol a
tradition of this ancient place

will we find miniature
umbrellas in the 
gift store down the road
perhaps a post card
explaining the legend of the umbrella
or an old song about family
the sun’s glare 
the weeping sky
a poster featuring
lithesome natives
brandishing unfurled umbrellas
 
aprons, towels and toothpick holders
scalloped - painted handles.   
tee shirts in classic umbrella colors
or flag colors of the conquering country.
ah, the umbrella
 
the guide cranes her head to where we point
that?
that is just trash.   

Inspiration:  An umbrella and a long bus ride

This poem came from a bus ride up to the top cool peak of Madeira, an island off the coast of Portugal.  It serves as the British and German Hawaii.  Come down for a week to your timeshare, acquire a horribly painful looking sunburn on purpose and fly home. I was there for just a few days.  I did not get sunburned.  

After a week or so traveling through a foreign country,  you start to get a little bleary. Whatever a guide says, you just believe because it’s easier than asking questions or once again experiencing the frustration of a single bar on your phone and even if you could get a signal the overseas data plan is rapidly draining towards ruinous additional fees.  Even a facebook post costs enormous amounts of data allotment.

Which by the time we post this may be changing. I hope so.

With 10% left on the battery, and even though a  Google search would deliver critical clarification, it is too much hassle. 

So you just believe.  

It’s easier.

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