The Traveler, Passing,
Chateau de Lavigny, Switzerland
The Alps rise over Aubonne’s medieval roofs.
It is early morning in my other time zone.
On this June night I need no lantern
as I wander uphill toward the granite church,
the bells silent past midnight.
The full moon and the Ursa Major guide me.
In this constellation I see myself as I am,
while others have shimmering years ahead.
In this brightness, I enter the blind alley
of my life, carrying my story like a bouquet
of roses past the village fountain.
The pink, yellow and red flowers bend
in the heat, their season almost done.
In my room, purple-rose wallpaper
with robins nesting in peonies, drowning in purple.
Each day they become more inflamed,
the birds give me flushed glances.
Matching drapes, shuttered windows.
The sun sinks into the lake.
Behind neighboring villas,
water trickles from the courtyard fountain.
Last night’s brandy drunk up,
God is a fur coat, a Russian cap, one guest says.
Another, but isn’t being born
and knowing you will die enough?
We float in and out of the French doors,
while our lives run away.
Nothing can stop the galloping.
Distinguished Professor of English and creative writing, emerita, Montclair State University, Carole Stone’s poetry collections include HURT: THE SHADOW, ALL WE HAVE IS OUR VOICE, Dos Madres Press, AMERICAN RHAPSODY Cavankerry Press, and TRAVELING WITH THE DEAD, Backwaters Press. Recent journal publications include Crosswinds, Sequestrum, Pen and Brush. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She received three Fellowships from The New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She divides her time between Springs, Easthampton and Verona, New Jersey.