The Tourist Information Centre on the Piazza Maggiore

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.

Voluptuous desires

And her dreams of erotic Parisian adventures

Sated by a wrong turn,

A left instead of a right,

Via Zamboni

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

On the Via Malcontenti.

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