Waking in Cluis

I tumble out
of that nightmare rerun:
my babies gone,
morphed again into
bugs or dust at my breast.
I find you sipping
sugared coffee, your face sweet
with sleep in the still,
dark dining room.
We wander this storybook town's
winding, cobbled streets, their shuttered
houses and geranium boxes
neat as nursery rhymes.
You are drawn to the art
of the charcuteries,
whose windows gleam with
tubes of glistening red sausage,
hares hung by their twined back legs,
eyes still shining,
front legs stretching
as if to leap back to life.
Across the street, boulangeries
with their yeasty promise, their alchemy
of flour, butter and sugar float
like longing in the morning air.

Beside them la petite epicerie,
its stalls filled with tiny field
strawberries, nectarines like nipples,
green apples, nestled and small.
These will feed those Shetlands,
grazing with their parents,

nuzzling and chasing each other
under last night's big, pearly moon.
We bite pieces of tart, crisp fruit,
toss them under the fence,
yearning, instead, for communion,
for lush equine licks
cleansing our cupped hands.
Flies circle the ponies,
whose gaze turns us,
suddenly, to the chipped, gray stone
of the lane's crucifix
whose wounds,

outstretched arms
and lowered head
appear like a welcome,
a way to waken.

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