You watch the blonde girl in her beret and rain coat
borrow a bike and pedal along the canal.
She passes trees and old houses with open windows —
her body becoming a message board
for ghosts. Whatever airs in voice or scent
clings to her person
telling what must be written
of them in her future stories or poems
She heads for The Black Tulip. A cafe
several blocks down where young writers
still gather to discuss their ideas
and different genres mingle with blue
delftware cups of coffee or chocolate. Scenes on porcelain
inspired by a river, fields and windmills
an artist passed on his way to work.
A man from the Guild of St. Luke —
you may remember from your art books
and this place — a pause you entered after the war.
Long hair fell over your left eye with a strong
will of its own. Something you could not always control
despite metallic pins
and the same for your writing. Characters
slipped out of place and caught the light in their own way.
The flavor of a sweet beverage and polished wood
welcoming their presence.
The beautiful painting is by French artist, Marie-France Riviere.