When I Walk the Streets of Paris (for Annie)

When I walk the streets of Paris

you won’t be beside me,

but you will be there.

And I will converse with you in

a terrible French accent to make

you laugh

A yellow rose,

the kind you loved best,

I will leave at the top of

the Eiffel Tower

Another, tossed into the Seine

to float downriver like a wish

now come true,

A bright and beautiful bloom

in the crepuscular evening

I will take pictures where your memory

will fill the empty spaces.

Your smile unseen, but felt.

In the bistro, I will flirt

with the waitress and ask her

if ‘oo-la-la’ is really a thing,

(and ask her to say it, even if it’s not)

I will visit the Louvre

and admire the

incomprehensible paintings

with indecipherable meanings

In the outdoor café

I will order two cups

of coffee, and

leave yours untouched.

And on the last night,

standing on the balcony,

listening to the melancholy melody

of an accordion

below in the courtyard,

I will toast us with a glass of red wine,

Celebrating the fact that we finally got here

And now,

we’ll always have Paris.

The Sweet, Wise Cosmic Dream (80’s poetry)

If honey ran in mountain streams

the sugar sparkling in moonbeams

and I could hear the screech-owl’s screams

would I then have the sweetest dreams…

Of flying into starlight

with very keen eyesight

having a smooth flight

upon the winds of night?

Would I return with morning sun

the majic of my wings undone

or shattered by the hunter’s gun

(perhaps a god was having fun)?

To then become a man again

staring at the horizon

sheltered in an empty den

the earth’s poor earth-bound citizen?

Would I keep flying into space

to some far, timeless secret place

not to rejoin the human race

as cosmic winds caress my face?

I would prefer the last

and not think upon the past

That time when I was one of you

Unless you wish to travel too….

I thought you would.

© Alfred W. Smith Jr.

June 25th, 1983

The Sweet, Wise Cosmic Dream / Assorted Absurdities (a poetry collection)

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