Mia says the name of the place,
l’Auberge-in, is a play on words.
She’ll tell in time, prix fix is 43 francs.
It’s empty and candle lit yet grotto dim.
Antique labor trappings adorn the walls.
Mia sits under a yoke. A couple from our hotel enters.
Their table’s by a sickle, a hammer not far off.
“They’re commies,” whispers Mia, out the side
of her mouth. “We are struggling farmers.”
She reveals the French for “eggplant” is the answer and we order
a dish featuring it with couscous that’s abundant and delicious.
As if constipated old field hand, I choose a prune yogurt dessert.
It’s a hit but doesn’t measure up to Mia’s vanilla flan.
As we are leaving, one of our neighbors is running his finger
over the sickle blade. His girlfriend is laughing.
Mia hopes they dream tonight of wheat not chaff.
We cross the Seine near la Tour d’Argent to the Ile St. Louis.
Strolling narrow streets we window shop
stop at a cozy restaurant that’s appealing.
Letters and book pages grace its walls.
“Tomorrow,” says Mia. “I’ll translate a couple
while we dine.”
Back across the river, a tipsy fellow bumps into her.
She punches him hard in the arm. He laughs and salutes her.
She’s the featherweight champ of la rue des Ecoles.
Next day, we stop for a drink at Harry’s
New York Bar where heavyweight Primo
Carnera’s boxing gloves hang on a wall.
Mia says they resemble mutant eggplants.
“Aubergine,” I brag.
She punches my arm, but softly.
Thomas M. McDade is a former programmer / analyst living in Fredericksburg, VA, previously CT & RI. He is a graduate of Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT. McDade is twice a U.S. Navy Veteran, serving ashore at the Fleet Anti-Air Warfare Training Center, Virginia Beach, VA, and at sea aboard the USS Mullinnix (DD-944) and USS Miller (DE / FF 1091). His poetry has most recently been published by The World of Myth, Local Train, Ariel Chart and Pinnacle Anthology. He also writes short fiction that has appeared in: Punk-Lit, Close To The Bone, Between These Shores Arts Anthology and Spank The Carp.