Mike Lewis-Beck

Issue #
January 31, 2017

Pique-Nique in Nantes

Rain’s up, but under a canopy a vigneron
offers the local white. A bottle
of his Gros Plante leaps into my basket,
as do cherries, these big red-black cherries.

White-bottomed radishes follow,
flourishing their delicate tails.
A half-loaf of oven-fired bread goes well
with the nutty St. Nectaire cheese I score,
that plus some green olives and cracked walnuts.
Alas, the butter cake’s sold out.

In a gravelled park across the pavéed street,
nesting within a ring of knuckled plane trees,
I spread my Presse Ocean paper over a bench.
Still, my bottom’s wet. Robin would have loved the scene,
except for the pigeons. I raise my glass to her.

The pigeons peck at the bread crumbs. School girls
pass by in their magenta uniforms.
Men come alone to pee in corners.
Women of a certain age enter and leave.

For a moment, sun breaks the clouds.

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