So that morning
in the middle of the week
we got up, packed up the car and left for the border.
The weather never changed –
whoever tells you that winter is a beautiful season
needs to help me see
the aesthetics in perpetual and indecisively dizzy rain.
The political borders around here are barely noticeable,
but the languages signal the territory of a new tribe.
Ordering café in French makes it instantly royal.
So through the pseudo-rain we drove across the pseudo-border
As any stellar road trip conversation would have it,
our cocoon enveloped truths with braided strands of linguistic artistry.
Tournai seemed as pastorally innocent that day
as it would on any summer’s day
with blue skies and a cheeky coastal breeze.
Our wanderings we smoothly but decisively halted
to feast on fresh baguettes and gaufres.
Then, finally, our reason for leaving the mundane
manifested right in the market square.
I had tried briefly to arrange for tickets
but since my mind had been set on attending ever since the date was posted,
it didn’t matter that the concert had been sold out for weeks.
As luck – and perhaps fleeting friendship – would have it,
the musicians, invited us in,
much to the surprise of those folks at the counter
who’d sworn there was no way we’d still be able to attend,
no matter how long we’d driven to get there.
They were as alive as I’d remembered them,
although crowding the stage with a few more players this time around.
Since frites-jazz basically translates as fries-‘n-jazz,
we, too, left the standing ovation and congratulatory greeting only
to snack and get back home.
The fries, as you can imagine, were superlative too,
because they too, were served in French
at the end of this exquisite day away.
I write this piece three days removed,
with a fever and probably some sort of flu.
If these are consequences of good times, so be it,
I don’t believe that anyway.
What – aside from travel –
could make the waking
even more superb?