Date Night at Bertrand’s Bistro on North Park Row

Because we have never been here before as a couple,
we choose to come sample the crepes for dessert.
He chooses something tres American that resembles
a Snickers bar with lots of extra whip cream and sprinkles.
I go for traditional crepe citron and bask in its tanginess.
We both get bottled water instead of champagne.

I tell him stories about living in the 15th district of Paris.
He tilts his head a bit – and I recall buying la braguette
at a French bakery – acting as if this is the first time
he’s heard me ask for a man’s fly instead of baguettes.
And he acts shocked that the baker kissed me and sent
me on my way without collecting cinq centimes.

Here at the table on the sidewalk across from Perry Square
we people watch and smile knowingly to one another.
A group of boys on skateboards cruise up and down
the curb of the street. An elderly couple rest on a bench
near the gazebo. He takes her hand and they sit silently.
Stillness, I note, is earned with age. And we’re aging gracefully. 

* * * * *

This poem originally appeared in Voices of Lake Erie [Gannon University Press, Erie, PA].

Marisa Moks-Unger is a workshop leader, journalist, poet and social activist. She has read her work at such venues as the Nuyorican Poets Café and Stark Open Mic (NYC), as well as Poetry in the Park and Women of Word (Erie, PA). Her work has appeared in First for Women, Women’s World, Money, Florida, The Orlando Sentinel, The Charlotte Observer, and many others.