V. How (from Lutèce, te amo)
to square the barricades, the FFI, the jimmying of rocks
from boulevards –
those appareils of Baron H’s anti-communista vistas –
or Pétain; the sandbags, the barbed-wire, the rifle cocked
and gripped, incongruous – a hand-me-down four-quarters
resting on the shoulder of some prodigious tot –
and the trains
trundling out of Drancy, the gendarmes waving au revoirs.
And then, come to think of it, the only part of the plot
Another Country I remember – Yves, I think, remarking
Americans are racists, exhibiting his Gallic amour-propre
and here, on the Boulevard, this black woman pushing
How indeed. The bakers fill the street with un parfum
of buttered wheat;
a pregnant beggar slumps near-by, slowly starving.
Downriver, Les raboteurs awaits my rapt attention.
Unpublished poem from Lutèce, te amo, © Ahren Warner 2012, used by permission of the author