Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Then and There

You move to Paris
With a suitcase of shirts
And trousers one winter coat
Socks and undershorts
Another case of hardbacks and notebooks
You spend Juin Juillet and Août
Parading strolling and in
A café off Blvd des Batignolles
Where the waitress knows
Your order
Late one night after buttered roast chicken
Stuffed with rosemary breadcrumbs
And a baguette you go to
The café for a nightcap and she has
Finished work and sits on a table
With her thin hand she calls you
Over and pours you un verre de vin rouge
Your first conversation lasts till closing
Leads to you
Walking to her apartment and you
Don’t try grab her ass or
Kiss her you ask her if she
Wants to have dinner the next night
And on her arrival
Just after you’ve taken her
Coat she kisses you

Her English is impeccable
(Childhood summers spent in Oxford with her Aunt)
Throughout the meal you reveal why you
Came to La Ville-Lumière
A plan of opening a book stall
At a Marché – you’ve got books
Knowledge but you need
A bookseller

She doesn’t stay that night or
Get in bed but she quits
The café and moves in each night
The both
Of you read and you share information
About authors and their lives
In a few months you get the stall and like
You’d imagined with a pretty
Madame on the stall you cover all your costs and
Pay yourselves within a year
There’s the engagement and you move from the
Stall to a small shop near the café
You met in business gets better and more
Parisians start reading in English
You marry in her hometown church
And on the wedding night
Conceive the first child who will grow up
To be un écrivan

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