by Kathie Isaac-Luke
I love this poem for the freshness in describing what might have been. It is refreshing because the usual angst or sadness is missing. The subject shows no dissatisfaction with her own life, yet wistfully creates a scene and scenario in which she would have been content or even happy. I think the everyday picture of attire and activities makes a broad stroke coloring both sides of the poet’s pen.
Realtor, teacher, former San Jose Arts Commissioner
I should have liked to live in Paris
in the fifties.
It would have suited me to wear
my flared voile dress with polka dots,
matching pumps, and wide brimmed hat.
So dressed, I would descend the stairs
from my compact apartment to check the mail,
delivered twice daily in the fifties,
and look for the vellum envelope
postmarked Marseilles with his initials
inked across the back.
Then I would walk my dog-
no not a poodle, even in the fifties
I retained my sense of individuality-
a terrier, let’s say.
I would sit in an outdoor bistro drinking
coffee, faintly trying not to meet the eyes
of a gentleman facing me under the canopy
of smoke that swirled around those cafes.
I would pretend not to notice how he lowered
his Le Monde to admire my well-turned ankles-
I had well turned ankles in the fifties-
Then off to the market to buy a fresh baguette,
gruyere and brie. Yes, I should have liked to live in
Paris in the fifties. That would have suited me, I think.