Paris and Helen

Not much is known about MARCUS BALES except he lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and his work has not appeared in Poetry or The New Yorker. His latest book is 51 Poems; reviews and information at

Paris and Helen

Perhaps the April sun shone every day

And I do not remember. Did the rain

Exclude us from our choice out-door café

While through the glass we watched it spot the Seine?

We lived in bed, and ordered in. The staff

Would chase us out to change the sheets and air

The room, and chide us with a knowing laugh

To see some of the city while we’re there.

Since we were born to work and serve, not rule

A Mycenaean city-state, we had

To leave at last to travel back to school,

And stop the pale pretence that we were mad

And bad. She married some old wealthy plod.

I get a smile and a recherché nod.