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The Quay
Helen Padway


Walk the quay
watch the river barges work. Humming 
sturdy slippers full of cement sneer
at the anchored painted houseboats,
mistresses of the rich,
wearing undulating lace curtains 
in the wake and swell of the worker boats.

Walk the quay
watch lovers, young and old. The young find 
shadows, tangle legs, devour lips and lunch, 
the old smile, while bones soak 
sun. Veined hands wave greetings to the Bateaux 
Mouche filled with passing tourists. Bicycle 
riders weave through walkers in the warp 
of the path, joggers time the distance 
from bridge to bridge.

Walk the quay
read the water lines of history 
on bridge footings. The wind moves my hair
gulls swoop and feed on flotsam. Be a witness 
to scenes repeated year after year. 
It’s Paris. It’s April.

© by Helen Padway.
Used with the author’s permission.

Helen Padway (1926 - 2022) was theater-trained and worked in television and radio, both writing and performing. She enjoyed her family and was the proud mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and had one great-grandchild. Helen lived in Glendale, Wisconsin and was a member of the Sparks and the Hartford Avenue Poets. Published both locally and nationally, she believed poetry could help change the world.

Post New Comment:
C'est tres belle!
Posted 04/25/2011 09:42 AM
Linda Lee (Konichek):
Helen, thank you for this perfect trip away from home this morning...delightful and so full of images and senses and the best feelings of spring, no matter where we are.
Posted 04/25/2011 09:39 AM
Wilda Morris:
Take me along with you next time, Helen! Love it!
Posted 04/25/2011 08:41 AM
the quay in the loch of enchantment
Posted 04/25/2011 05:03 AM

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