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Cordon Bleu Night in Paris

The sky was beurre noisette,

lightning flashed thin bouchées

like gratiner she thought

pulling on her nouvelle cuisine coat


Not a night to be out in

hurrying down path awash

with floating grape leaf shadows

wrenching open door of her

tiny pâté car, pushing


Key in slot, no response, a silent

prayer, a half swallowed plea, then

engine turns over once, twice, a rusty

food mixer in stubborn dough

left too long in the bowl, finally

catching in a whirring Parisienne sound


Thunder crashes, pudding bowl heavens

open pour their contents on to

her world: road lamps blurring, house

windows Macédoine then splitting again

in scrape-scrape of wipers across

whirling cookbook vista recipes,

traffic lights, intersections, directions

all merging into menus of unintelligible

instructions, confusing as a sushi bar

conveyor belt spinning faster, faster

out of control


Unbelievably she was there, storm over,

pavements steaming appetizing gurgles.

she ran up steps drying off in perfect

vanilla papillote layers, stripping off her

foil protection, pausing, applying caramel

icing make-up, raspberry lipstick, then

fragrant, triumphant opening door, stepping

in to a dusting of applause


Cordon bleu lady strikes again

and they all hurry to have a taste

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© Johnmichael Simon



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