She had an eastern European accent;

I could have listened to her read the phone book--

All those hard R's.

It was like being under the influence of something...

She made me want to wait in a bread line, or watch some awful art film with my head on her shoulder and my hand,

Like an afternoon cloud,

Drifting under her skirt.

Surely I should join an Order,

Forget what I have seen and felt.

Pigeons mock me--

They teem everywhere I go,

Like pick-pockets speaking Romany.

I am in a bare room,

Questioned in a language I do not understand,

But the answers are as clear as the water in a town-square fountain in Belgrade in the spring...

-- her eyes, dark as crow's wings.

--her fingers, with rings of every precious metal.

--her words, faintly obscene.

--her name, Natalie, like a loaf of bread on a wooden table.

I knew her several years ago.

She had hair like an approaching storm.

I don't know where she is now,

But I think of her

Whenever I see pigeons on the sidewalk

Outside the old bakery door on Verlaine Street.


Note: yes, there was a real Natalie. She was from California, lol.

written for One Shot Wednesday


Jannie Funster said…
My Dear Lord,

I LOVE this blog! have I ever mentioned that??

Her name like a loaf of bread on a wooden table.

I dated a guy once, his name was like a plastic bag on a fence post in the wind. Hey! Could I be a poet too? :)

Bubba said…
(Too funny, Jannie!)

I liked the various images you invoke to remember Natalie by.
TALON said…
I have a niece named Natalie so I have to get past the image of her and into the image of your Natalie which isn't too difficult as you describe her so beautifully, Shay.
Mojo said…
Belgrade, Bel Air... whatever.

Still... the idea of you joining an Order is mildly amusing. The Sisters would never be the same, that's for sure!
Brian Miller said…
a fascinating piece shay...she made me want to wait in a bread line...that to me says much...great have a style all your own...nice one shot!
Daryl said…
Col-if-fawn-e-a is like Romany
Vinay Leo R. said…
lol.. the comparison of name to a loaf of bread is amusing :D what a different poem..! nice!

My One Shot
G-Man said…
Aardvark, Billy. 766-5432
Arlo, Klaus. 766-2433
Ashley, Herrbert. 765-7766
Bisko, Theodore. 766-8996
Bracha, Nadine. (unlisted)
Brandt, Willy. 766-5443

(she reads it so well does she not?)

Claus, Santa. 765-3333
Crantz, Rose N. 767-2212
signed...bkm said…
Brillant Shay, just brillant - your "like an afternoon cloud drifting under her skirt"...this piece is a signature "U" piece of wonderful image --- this - it screams "publish Me".....bkm
I am sooooooooo glad you were curious about my curiosity as that led me to you and this wonderful poem. I could see her, hear her and smell the bread in the bakery.
Beachanny said…
This was like a Truffaut film; it's grainy, real black&white recollections really work. Very successful. Kudos to you. Thanks, Gay (@beachanny)
Lynn said…
I love to hear that accent - my friend Tereza has it, too. The comparison you make to her voice is wonderful.
Glynn said…
You evoke the Eastern European images, adding an air of inviting mystery to Natalie. O rperhaps she already had that. Good poem.
dustus said…
LOL @G-Man!

"--her name, Natalie, like a loaf of bread on a wooden table."
"She had hair like an approaching storm."

Amazing poem. Love the above lines. "Mocked by the pigeons"—they make fun of the way I walk, pigeon-toed of course.
KB said…
Gotta love an accent :)
Ileana said…
I didn't expect your hand to drift THERE, naughty, naughty poet. ;)

Love the name Natalie and this was wonderfully written, btw.
Riot Kitty said…
This totally describes a roommate I had once (a platonic one albeit ;)
Desert Rose said…
your style is as unique as awesome shay! this eastern Europe hint made me feel this atmosphere..:)
Carrie Van Horn said…
Shay you brilliance with words is paint a picture with your own colors of paint that no one else can buy! I think this one is another favorite for me. :-)
Maude Lynn said…
I love the line about watching bad art films!
Marshy said…
there was so much imagery in this that i liked...the r's, the pick pockets, the goes on and on...once again you have written a great piece..thanks for sharing..pete
moondustwriter said…
That's love - or infatuation!!!

I'm gonna have to try the phone book - Ha

Love your writing Shay

Gr8 One Shot

Moon smiles
I love that this poem is strong but also funny. I felt many different emotions. I laughed about the pigeons mocking. and the line 'she had hair like an approaching storm' made me go WHOA. it also made me a little jealous. p.s. do write more about fall if it suits you. I'm without fall for the first time in my life. I love reading all these posts about fall! long hair :)