When I Return to Paris
by Debra Southworth
When I return to Paris I will stand under the Eiffel Tower, gazing upwards, arms akimbo,
Wearing the black slip I bought on the Champs Elysees in 1977 and the
Pink beret from 2018 pulled over my ears or cocked to one side, artist-like.
The slip is a tiny bit tight, but I’ll squeeze it down over my grandmotherly hips
and hope it doesn’t creep its way up in a bundle around my waist.
When I return to Paris I will perch on a stool at a sidewalk café, legs crossed,
One candy apple red high heel dangling seductively from my right big toe.
I hope I can keep my balance at least until I order my sweet white wine. I will
Walk back to my elder-hostel barefoot, heels slung over my shoulder like some
Grand hunting trophy.
When I return to Paris I will rent a stylishly small, yellow convertible sedan,
Drive unreasonably fast through the countryside to Normandy, one hand
Out the window catching the breeze, the other
Gripping the steering wheel for dear life.
“La Vie en Rose” will blast from the radio.
When I return to Paris (and I will), the aroma of every boulangerie on
Every corner in every arrondissement will beckon me,
Crème Brulee, Macaron, and Madeleine, my dear old friends.
My heart will burst and the slip will surely be
a bundle around my waist.
* * * * *
Debra Southworth wrote her first poem at age 13, well past bedtime, hunkered down under the covers, flashlight in hand. More recently, her poem, “Diagnosis,” was included in the 2020 edition (Apple) of Writers in the Attic anthology series. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Redlands. Idaho is home!