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This one is not so Grand

as its river, no Seine

cutting at its heart

or couples arm-in-arm

amid je t’aime.

We can see

the eroding townscape

from this crowded

rooftop bistro,

and there’s a soufflé

on the menu you’d like to try,

while I scan the varied wine list

for Château Valfontaine.

We made a hard, last-minute

left off the 403, figured

Brantford would be dull,

there’s only so much

Bell and Gretzky

we can digest, yet again.

And substituting for a tower?

There’s the truss bridge

serving the railway

that traverses the muddy banks,

its lattice now a respite

for a dozen, migrating flocks,

and, upon which, the locals say,

some have confessed their love;

plunged down in ultime liberté.

Andreas Gripp

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