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St. Jean de Luz
     France 1971
by Roberta Feins

Sunday morning cocoa, croissant
and jam. Behind a spice bush, the kisses
of smooth-cheeked boys.

Walk to town along the highway,
spears of chicory, poppies
tangling the ditch. Sheep
graze under plane trees.

Rock blares from a record store.
Girl in pleats tears bits of rolled-up waffle,
sugar powdering her nose.

In heavy shoes, a wimpled nun
marches stiffly over cobbles. Jesus
swings from her waist on a beaded leash.

Domed deux-chevaux Citro
scuttle about: little churches
freed from cloisters, on pilgrimage

to the market, beeping
through narrow streets, as if
they were running with Pamplona bulls.

Striped cabanas bed down
on the twilight town beach. Cool
salt wind powders sand

onto piles of locked lounge chairs.
Breakwater at the harbor entrance;
inspires even the mild Atlantic to dramas
of parting and remorse.

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