Saturday, July 6, 2019

Notre Dame was burning (posted better late than never)

Live TV coverage of Notre Dame in flames. You can see the huge jets of water being pumped directly from the (adjacent) Seine. Every firefighter in Paris must have been called in on this one.

Old Wood

Halfway through my last dinner, I saw the blaze,
unfathomable as the Grand Canyon creaking shut.
The owner confirmed:  Everyone on staff is following

as firefighters poured the river onto the flames.
When the spire lifted as it toppled, people gasped, 
wailed as though a suicide had jumped.

The day before I’d walked the quais, 
browsed the bookinistes, shot mood pics of the towers,
total cornball, through the mist of new leaves.

Arrow of God, the spire had fallen before the sun was down, 
The fire turned the sky red, turned the cross white-hot.

Not all the water in the world, not even the river could help.
People stood and watched, sang and wept.
Rains came only the next morning.

Ash sifted down catching, reflecting coral light 
I’d brought my husband’s ashes in a carved wooden box.
No need, no need.

After dinner, the owner walked me to the door. We sniffed the air.
Vieux bois, she shrugged, wincing. Old wood.
(published in New Verse News on April 23 2019, Easter Sunday)