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The Ghosts of Versailles by Theresa Cecilia Garcia


Theresa Cecilia Garcia

Snow melts into Indian summer .
An angry sweeping gust whirls around my legs
and I'm left wandering aimlessly,
slow-motion tripping
not knowing exactly what to do
or what to think and feel.

Soaking up the air
I listen to the sound of wind,
far away sheep bells ,
a midafternoon sunshower.
Far removed from artisans
or workmen.

The smell of the countryside
cattle eyed me with ridiculous
bovine stupidity .
This is where philosophers came
to unfold their wisdom and where
gypsies amused, pretended interest in
their affairs.

Let the pink cotton -candy rain wisp
dancing currents ,defining rocks from
hard removed histories;
where nobles in silk and embroidery
frolicked , feasted and sang the praises
of a Great King.

To the west an isolated black almond shape cloud
exposes a fiery magenta rim;
drawing a picture of a town
on a steep hill where the miserable
at one time trifled for coins and food.

High above them a great church steeple
all spires and pinnacles disappeared
into the shadows of silent, consecrated statues.
Where Latin was an educated man's language
before the vulgar tongues of Corneille,
Racine and Moliere.

Bal al Versailles
bore the blazonry
of some great far adventure. And written in
a grey stone fortress between forest and river
an understanding that if we do not know the times,
we do not know the man.

Water dripping from limestone rock.
Waving tendrils drooping
with purple grapes overpowering
green leaves of wild olive trees.
Ancestors wretched exile.
Reminds me I can touch but not feel you.

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