After the FireA jolt. A fire in Notre Dame. The heart of Paris
Gravely damaged. I recall the square outside,
Filled up with pilgrims, tourists, kids, all thrilled
To view the ancient structure with its buttresses,
Its towers, sculptures at the entrances and in a long
Line up above, and I remember waiting in the crowd
To enter next to J. The two of us were so excited,
Having reached each other, after years apart, in such
A place. To tour Paris like two lovers in a movie,
What a treat! And, now to enter this cathedral.
We walked hand in hand along the outer portions
Of the nave, appreciating splendid carvings, images
Of ecstasy. I turned my head, and J was gone.
One cannot know all that there is to know about
One's lover, even when you never are apart.
I went on, circling the nave, and noticed, after
Finishing, that J was seated on a pew. Her head
Was bowed, and she, who had learned French,
Had joined the worshippers. I waited until she
Was done. We left the church, and bought some
T-shirts. In the days which followed, we saw
Other parts of Paris, and we had the most amazing
Time. Then, she went back to Bordeaux, and I
Took a train to Germany. We rarely see each
Other now. I called in case she hadn't heard
The news concerning Notre Dame, and, when
I mentioned we'd been there, she began to cry.
Poetry by Lawrence Beck
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Written on 2019-04-17 at 01:16
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