Categories
Poetry

Parisian Lessons

It’s easy to get lost
in the romance of Paris
in the mystique of Paris
you can taste it
the aroma of sweet spice
and lingering vanilla tobacco
you can hear it
seductively whispering
notes of music
and conversations
from streetside cafes
you can see it
in the architecture
both masculine and feminine
lustily snapped by tourists
as evidence
that for a brief interlude
they were part
of the city of love
but
I’ll never be that naive
because
Paris
will always be
a den of wolves
in designer clothing
to me.

Aged 8 dawdling
feet struggling
on a cobbled urban jungle
a metre behind my parents
my protectors
when the city tried to tear me away
a candy-striped shirt
greying white trousers
that matched his hair
the strength
of his rancid breath
more powerful than his tanned arms
silent screams
searing my lungs
survival instincts kicked in
a case of
fight then flight
catching up with my father
fury igniting his face
powering his legs
as he tried to chase
the man down
like a lion
whose pride had been attacked
but wolves are cowards
and hide until it’s safe to attack again.

A couple of life lessons learned.
Aged 8.
Early for some
Too late for others.

Paris is only romantic in print.
You only see what they want you to see.

Wolves don’t scare me.
Face your fears.
Cowards retreat in the face of confrontation.

I have a lion’s blood.
Family is everything.

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