Sunday, June 3, 2012

CHANTEUSE

This poem was inspired by a true family story.


Her father sent her to Paris

to make money as a chanteuse.

She boarded a plane, baggage in hand,

and hummed a few bars on a flight over the Atlantic.

While in Paris she learned to sing like a bird.

She went nightly to cabarets and wore

the finest silk dresses in the colors of jewels.

One night she met a tall dark man

who offered her his love, a kiss and a ring

that made her eyes light like sapphires.

She accepted the ring.

She silenced her song.

She stopped answering her father’s letters

asking when she would be coming home.

One night, on a flight back over the Atlantic

With her tall dashing husband, she returned

To New York, where she and her young man

started a farm in the Catskills.

And she never heard from her father again.

But her song can be heard in the wind that

races through the trees and over the sharp pointed

mountains---and she is happy as a lark.