Une Nuit à Nancy


 Une Nuit à Nancy

I walked down the rue Saint-Jean
(shivering under my umbrella)

until the road changed its name to

rue Saint-Georges

and the rain stopped

but only briefly - just before the

Cathedrale Primatiale de Nancy

Still, I went in, handing a ten franc

coin of two metals to a polite

door-woman of a beggar

who asked nothing of me

Yet meekly held out a small hand

Of blood-red polished nails

This Saturday night the holy man’s voice

Rang through the speakers and echoed

Off the ancient columns as the congregation

Of French men and French women

Sat in uncomfortable wooden chairs

Below a heavenly scene above

Angels pulling mere mortals up

Over the painted clouds

To their eternal rewards

Quietly, I listened, trying to catch the

Foreign words on my frozen ears

Hoping to receive a divine message


I fought the fleeting urge to

Light a long white-waxy candle

for only five francs (prayer included)

Denying my Catholic upbringing

Reduced to only a “dry” idiot to Federico

And the damp walls vibrated

A child whimpered and coughed

The beggar wished me a “bon soir” and

“bonne annee”

the wind whipped around the cathedral

and stabbed my soul

Michael Adubato

Michael Adubato was born and raised in New Jersey but moved across the ocean and settled in Belgium, mainly because the beer and soccer are better.  When he’s not at a stadium watching a game, he’s thinking about where to go for the next game.  He also writes about those games when the poems aren’t flowing.  His greatest achievement was convincing a beautiful Slovakian woman to marry him. 


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