It’s 10 a.m. and under the portico of the courthouse,
beneath a tent fashioned with a quilt,
someone still sleeps, lulled by the sound of the fountain.
Has the balmy air made his heart light?

On his way to the palace to see the emperor, a wretched Augustine,
not yet converted, was overwrought with worry
about the florid oration of flattery he was about to deliver.
On the thoroughfares of Milan he saw a joyous beggar.
Augustine wondered why he should be tortured by his fears
and yet the beggar feel so cheerful he was joking.

Somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright
but on these streets, as my spouse and I walk in silent annoyance
with each other over petty differences almost, but not quite, forgotten,
we wish God’s grace would befall us.