They set a table out on the Alps
just for us. “This is a neutral
country,” the waiter said,
“you can have anything you want.”

The mountains were very proud
of their muscles, flexed them
every chance they got. They
would rub away any whiff

from the rest of the world
if it tried to scale the cliffs.
We could eat in peace. Commerce
and its jealousies, the pitch

of blood, invasions, smoke
died at the first thought. Jumbo
sandwiches and foaming mugs
of beer rose from the meadows.

Though white might build up
around us, there was no danger
of avalanche, the waiter said.
Someone rose for the first toast.

Afterwards there would be hot
tubs and singing as the snow
fell. There were a line of lodges
as far as the eye could see,

fireplaces to warm up the pastry
desserts for our midnight snacks.
If Hannibal had pastured his elephants
here,the Swiss would rule the world.

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