At Lunch in Les Deux Magots

At Lunch in Les Deux Magots
By Lorna Goodison 

(From: Oracabessa.)

  For John Edward

Richard Wright and James Baldwin
ate in this very celebrated Paris café
where you and I my dearly beloved

hold these sidewalk streets in the sun
and order salads of spring greens;
tart leaves tonic our wintered mouths.

Here Richard bought a meal for James:
croque madame or croque monsieur
(Gallic cheese toast with ham or without)

Jimmy ate, and later he may even have –
here or elsewhere – sipped absinthe,
one cannot imagine that he did not;

he of the gorgeous frog prince profile
Toulouse-Lautrec would have fixed
on a poster in the age of belle époque.

Wright helped Baldwin to find a room
with room to wield the pen he used
to stab up the reputation of the older man

in an age-old pagan rite that demands
the son is duty bound to slay the father.
One rough business this writing life.

But love; this is Paris in late springtime,
the right season for ripe lovers like us.
Let us drink to the passing of old gods.

The Guardian’s Poem of the week. I love how it’s dark and light at the same time.
And I hate how it heightens my desperation to visit Paris in Springtime.


About TheBlackWallflower

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