Chestnuts, Paris, September ’16

Dusk comes at seven,
the tower lights up, the leaves fall down,
ashen flakes, snow in a globe.
Police sirens are instrumental.
Composed by shadows the night begins to bleed;
the heckler, the pickpocket, the gambler,
this swirling cauldron of ethnicity and culture
heats Quai Branly boiling beneath blacked out stars.
Morning along Quai de Grenelle chestnuts
full as bursting popcorn hearts,
small as infants, litter pavements,
fresh and shiny from their pouches,
still dewy from somnolent milk.
Here they are dawn’s bountiful crop
and not sheathed jewels.
Van Gogh’s stars are luminous over the Rhone,
overtures of beauty and hope in Musée D’Orsay
singing as starlight does from a distant place.
What is there to take home only these chestnuts,
born of Paris’ soil, resilient and weathered?
We doubt we will be stopped going through security,
stash them in zipped pockets for October’s passage.

Órla Fay