Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Colmar Blues

                                    COLMAR BLUES


                                    I've never been to Germany.

                                    No, that's not true; once in my youth

                                    I stepped across the border at Freiburg-

                                    Handsome town.  On the city wall

                                    Are markers showing where soldiers fell

                                    In the 1870s.


                                                            Later we drove

                                    To Colmar- which these days is French-

                                    And saw the Grunewald altarpiece-

                                    That great hysterical, cinematic

                                    Tribute to a dying god

                                    That Huysmans made such a fuss about.

                                    They keep it in a cool, white room

                                    All by itself.  Then I went off

                                    On a private mooch.  In a shiny bar

                                    I downed a glass of Kronenbourg

                                    And fell in with a group of kids

                                    Who gave me the usual kiddie-bleat

                                    About how little there was to do

                                    In their dull, old town.  It was getting dark,

                                    With half an hour to dinner time,

                                    So I went and sat in a park and counted

                                    Sycamore leaves on the damp path

                                    Under a marble monument

                                    (It might have been of Marianne

                                    Or a stoic poilu) while a boy

                                    Rode a bike with stabilisers

                                    Round and round and round the plinth.

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