Convents and…

Convents and Monasteries

Today is blowsy and blustery;
crisp April wind grabs the
slender shaking branches
dressed in delicate chartreuse.

The day tastes of orange peel
and peppermint, yet the scent
on this April wind is smoky,
rich with the dust of scattered
autumn bonfires.

I dwelt as a child
in Catholic halls; but at
fourteen I went elsewhere,
to rooms full of fragile girls,
soft-skinned, unroughened.

In France, monks distilled
liquor, aromatic. I cannot
remember the scent of hyssop;
cannot reconstruct those
sweetly fragrant monasteries.

An old friend has written
with sad news. Memories
almost two decades old rise up,
burn bright and unforgiving
to eyes unprepared for light,
for liquids, for fierce winds.

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