Was he far from the parish, bibliothèque,the rue de la Sorbonne,archival dust falling on his collar?Forests vanishing, leaves swept away,abrupt angles of oak, linden, ash.November gave him leaveto brood through Matins and Vespers,his Evensong distilled in manuscript pagesof sacred histories, transcription, ibids, contributors noteswhen his year turned bare.Intentions of tending to the womanalongside and under him, their hidden childin another country, abandoned.Was it in late afternoon?Long shadows hovered over cobblestones,a fallen priest, the call for last rites. [End Page 125]
Colette Inez published ten books of poetry and won Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Pushcart prizes, as well as two nea fellowships. She is widely anthologized and has taught at Columbia University for many years. Her memoir, The Secret of M. Dulong, appeared in 2005. A new collection, The Luba Poems, will be published by Red Hen Press late next year.