The Irish Rose of Paris

You fancied yourself as a writer, I think,

So many tales fell, so breathlessly, from your memory.

I am sure it was upon a sweeping staircase

Where we first met, long before foreign men tempted

And twisted us with foreign tales and foreign lips.

You, with your cascading curl’s,

The color of chestnuts in autumn,

And long belted coats- always off and running,

Oblivious to the inmates that surrounded us.

You perfected aloof while I, too shy to say no,

Was dragged to the dorm’s salle-a-manger

By the tedious herd, to partake and party

Until I could peter out unnoticed on hand and knee

To avoid what seemed like another Irish wake.

Later, after introductions, we chain smoked

Life stories in the TV room; those early days

When your smoking choked even me and I wanted

So much to be everything that you effortlessly were.

You were my wild eyed Catherine,

Moving faster than time allowed the rest of us,

While I, your Edgar, looked on in awe and tried to keep up

As Paris turned into our very own Moors.

We prided and congratulated ourselves on our ability

To acclimatize with our newly loved surroundings

Unlike our neighbors; only content with Irish jokes

And Irish bars while in the heart of a city that offered

\So much more than the dung-filled,

Mud-trodden fields which they so missed.

You were my breath of air; my mystery and adventure.

Once, I even questioned whether we could fall in love

And I believe we did- though in no conventional sense.

I was your confident in the College

And your beloved friend as we carved ourselves,

As much as we were allowed by the citizens

And bureaucracy, into our city of light.

Do you remember that wet, dull and far too normal day

In autumn and our train ride through town?

You sang me the love song from Irish shores

And I reveled in how it never seemed to end.

I watched you as you swam through that life

Barely needing to rise for air.

You are mother now

And still forever the rambling teller of tales

While I, still a traveler on this unending road,

Am ever grateful at how seamlessly our paths still cross.


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