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Two out of three

parvis de saint gilles


by N.C. Hogg


This morning past, present and hoped-for future

did I glimpse, in crowded tramcar joined.

Two young, heavily-beluggaged, strangers,

Placed together by scheming gods,

contending with each other to recount

experiences, on the road, before the prof, of their worlds.

He, his words strutting with wit and charm,

Gestures well-controlled and movements careful.

She attentive with ready question, comment and small laugh

Then in her turn she told him of her lot

As circus girl, aspirant clown, an acrobat

Her last show before cheering crowds

At this  picture conjured, his eyes grew big

and in wonder did he smile.

He touched her shoulder in unmistaken sign

she reached up to put her hand on his

in proud conquest, their worlds now one.

Then there was me, my now was as observer,

I saw my now hyperbolically glorious past

when in such conceit I did delight.

I, too, could amuse

and generate a warm place she’d want to be

in an, all too often, brief, yet perfect, company.

Such chance meetings, way stations on

a changed for-ever-path towards the future.

Then I saw a woman of your build

yet able to give you some twenty of her years

Small, compact, sinewy, tough

Ten thousand past joys and tribulations in her face

hesitantly step on at the Parvis

aided by a man, her similar in stature,

her complement companion.

Frail, slender arm about her

re-offering the protection of a lifetime

She muttered something I doubt he could have heard,

his face lit up, in understanding of the deepest kind:

her recognition of his presence as she snuggled

deeper into his warm round

Looking back and foward  in comfortable glow

A continuum of the marvels in life’s rich flow.

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