The Tourist Information Officer
Greets her customers with a frown.
Service with a scowl,
Each tentative enquiry revengefully resolved
With carefully constructed misinformation.
Her T-shirt reads ‘Paris – City of Love’
But she is in Bologna.
Her face a picture of untravelled dismay,
Her forehead creased with care-worn frowns,
As yet undisclosed at Passport Control.
The highlight of her day
Is the pleasure she derives
From directing the innocent tourist
To an incorrect location.
And her dreams of erotic Parisian adventures
Sated by a wrong turn,
A left instead of a right,
When she knows it’s quicker via
Via Belle Arti.
Her ramrod-stiff Romeo lies bedded
Between the covers of her Michelin Green guide;
Her Moulin Rouge hidden
Behind a barrier of red tape.
For the Tourist Information Officer
On the Piazza Maggiore,
Eiffel Tower apparel must suffice;
She cradles her dreams,
Crumpled like yesterday’s travel itinerary
As she heads for her home