See Paris First

Fearing Paris
Suppose that what you fear
could be trapped,
and held in Paris.
Then you would have
the courage to go
everywhere in the world.
All the directions of the compass
open to you,
except the degrees east or west
of true north
that lead to Paris.

Still, you wouldn’t dare

put your toes
smack dab on the city limit line.
You’re not really willing
to stand on a mountainside
miles away,
and watch the Paris lights
come up at night.

Just to be on the safe side

you decide to stay completely
out of France.
But then danger
seems too close
even to those boundaries,
and you feel
the timid part of you
covering the whole globe again.

You need the kind of friend

who learns your secret and says,

“See Paris first”.
~~Marsha Truman Cooper~~

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