thursday, b4 dinner

half an hour
‘til my business dinner starts,
early-autumn sun dips Basel
in soft-golden light, a thousand
year old bride with blushing cheeks,

i walk down main street,
pass the market, in cafés
with tables on the boardwalk,
guests sip afterwork drinks &

she sits across the road,
navy, pleated skirt, green cardigan,
face wrinkled by the suck of years
& on her lap an old accordion,

she’s not playing, just sits motionless
in the pedestrian stream,
instrument curled like a cat
in hundred folds, awaiting
a caress to life,

the sun escapes & in her eyes–
i wonder when it was that someone— &
what brought her to— i buy
a single rose, the florist wraps

it carefully in seaBlue
paper strands, rings of rippling waves
‘til just the head peeks out–

& as i hand it to her, she
lets go of the accordion, re-
plies in french, and then our smiles

touch somewhat shy & un-
expected in the evening sun

.

Karin has us write about the unexpected or in unexpected ways for Poetics today– she opens the dVerse pub doors at 3pm EST– and we’re always happy about unexpected guests as well– smiles

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65 responses to “thursday, b4 dinner

  1. “half an hour
    ‘til my business dinner starts,
    early-autumn sun dips Basel
    in soft-golden light, a thousand
    year old bride with blushing cheeks,

    Hi! Claudia…
    Once again, your beautiful poetic words…take center stage in your [very] descriptive poem…thursday, b4 dinner

    she sits across the road,
    navy, pleated skirt, green cardigan,
    face wrinkled by the suck of years
    & on her lap an old accordion…

    & as i hand it to her, she
    lets go of the accordion, re-
    plies in french, and then our smiles

    touch somewhat shy & un-
    expected
    in the evening sun…

    Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee 🙂

  2. A beautiful snapshot of the time before your meeting.

    Claudia — may I ask your home country and language?
    Basel is in German speaking Switzerland and right near the French border.
    When she relied in French was it because she could hear your French accent German– but “schoenfled” is German?

  3. smiles….wonderful claudia…i LOVE that you bought her a flower….made her feel so special…i love doing stuff like that…she probably needed it and i know it made you feel wonderful too….big SMILES on this one….human…at its best…this has a really cool rhythm to it as well…

  4. She must have seen better days. Or she might have just got across from the French side may be from a poorer part of the region. Responding in French in German-speaking Basel is unexpected! Nicely Claudia!

    Hank

  5. What a lovely thought to give her a flower ~ as ever, I see her there in her green and blue holding the accordian ‘face wrinkled by the suck of years’ ~ you are a true wordsmith Claudia and so much more ~ the imagery you paint with a few short brush strokes is so vivid ~ beautiful

  6. What a beautiful gesture, Claudia. She will always remember this experience…..I know I would if it happened to me! Sometimes it is good to do something unexpected to brighten someone’s day.

  7. face wrinkled by the suck of years…
    ….
    then our smiles

    touch somewhat shy & un-
    expected in the evening sun

    Hi Claudia,

    Love the way you engage the senses in this piece.
    Lovely gesture of yours to her.

  8. Oh wow Claudia, this has really got under my skin with the beauty of it. The pedestrian stream, the navy skirt and green cardigan, the accordion sitting motionless, the single rose wrapped in sea blue…. for me your poetry turns your everyday life into cinematic moments and as always you pull me right into the scene. I hope this is a true tale because it is just wonderful, and what a wonderful lady you are to notice her with such a warm gesture.

  9. Claudia,
    The touching scene, played out perfectly in your poem, demonstrates the wonders of random acts of kindness, of listening when our true self tells us to connect with another.

  10. how lively you jived in the surrounding, and your pen created a picture which we mostly ignore. I love everything about it. 🙂

  11. the thing i always love best about your poetry is the way your love of humanity shines through, a beautiful smile in this world that can often seem filled with frowns. i love that you bought her a flower.

  12. I love your city being dipped in light, and all the descriptions here–very alive, and breathing quietly. The portrait of the old woman is finely etched, and the end, unexpectedly luminous.

  13. I really like the mood in this one. What a beautiful encounter — I bet she would play her music with much more joy from now on and whenever she remembers she would smile. What a wonderful gift. 🙂

  14. Agree with Brian…you did a lovely deed that brought serendipity to you both. A lovely capture of a gem moment :))

  15. A great unexpected moment, Claudia, and you capture it so well. I just love the emotion that comes through in the piece. I can feel the tiredness of business continuing into the evening, the stillness of the musician, what pushed you into the flower shop. Somehow street musicians always seem to need flowers…

  16. Another wonderful scene, could almost hear the crinkle of the paper around that rose–the details are marvelous and a sweet ending. Still have those sizzling mushrooms slow dancing in a buttered skillet in my head–loved that! Makes me smile.

  17. love the unexpected kindness shown & how it seems to open a door (or at least a window) – love how the
    …smiles

    touch somewhat shy & un-
    expected in the evening sun

  18. …the words pleated, wrinkled, accordion, folds lend so much to the flavor of these passing moments captured by you…of course you tie everything together beautifully 😉

  19. It’s been awhile since a stranger has walked up to me and done something unexpected. But i am sure that stranger was touched by your gesture.