France in September

France in September by Janice D. Rubin

That Autumn I lived in the l'Hotel de la Petite Fleur

in the old part of Nice, la Vielle Ville.

The room four flights up

a narrow winding staircase built during the Inquisition.

The walls a light brown Italian plaster.

Walking through the ancient streets

to the sun crested blue promenade

past a noisy market. A medieval gothic church,

spires, stained glass: faces of saints

expressions of ecstasy.

Pigeons congregated

on the marble steps in sets of three

like siblings celebrating

a nephew's wedding

exchanging the family news.

I met with friends in cafes

drank red wine through the afternoon

talked of plans to travel

Greece in October

Spain in the Spring.

I understood the French life

the passion of love and food

the intuitive voices echoing within.

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