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The Gypsy

Ruddy-cheeked, spine like steel, she sits in the shadow.

Ruddy-cheeked, spine like steel, she sits in the shadow

Of Our Lady resolute as the gargoyles. Cold as stone,

Clutching her cup, I watch as she waves it fruitlessly,

Swallowed by the crowd. They are as she used to be -

Roaming, shifting, moving, free...

Passing the gypsy without a glance, pondering the Seine

Or their veal dinner, or Cezanne.

I press a note into her palm, she nods "merci madame"

With unseeing eyes. I wonder where she will sleep tonight,

But soon the thought dissolves.

Later, as I plump pillows on my four-star bed

I think about the gypsy and her deadened eyes,

The irony of sanctuary, and the crepes from the bistro nearby

With its errant chair in the road...

I saw Sacre Coeur next day.

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The Gypsy
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