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  • a poem for the winter solstice

    See Paris First

    by M. Truman Cooper

    Suppose that what you fear
    could be trapped,
    and held in Paris.
    Then you would have
    the courage to go
    everywhere in the world.
    All the directions of the compass
    open to you,
    except the degrees east or west
    of true north
    that lead to Paris.
    Still, you wouldn’t dare
    put your toes
    smack dab on the city limit line.
    You’re not really willing
    to stand on a mountainside
    miles away
    and watch the Paris lights
    come up at night.
    Just to be on the safe side
    you decide to stay completely
    out of France.
    But then danger
    seems too close
    even to those boundaries,
    and you feel
    the timid part of you
    covering the whole globe again.
    You need the kind of friend
    who learns your secret and says,
    "See Paris first."