Sunday, April 21, 2013

mad about la cafe

I was sure a day would come when I would be able to return to the café, confident I could handle the memories of those many hours spent there with my mother, enjoying wine and food, watching people and watching afternoons turn into evenings.  We had favorite tables and favorite chairs, sometimes preferring a window, most often a seat by the fire.  We knew which tables wobbled and which corners were always drafty. 

The first La Madeleine was built in Dallas and I have precious memories of sexy breakfasts there with Spoke when we were love-struck-giddy and ravished, and time stood still as we shared full baguettes and cup after cup of strong French coffee.

This café is in my mother's suburban neighborhood and she loved it. 

One afternoon many years ago, right around Easter, we met at La Madeleine and spontaneously celebrated the results of her recent cardiac workup for atrial fibrillation.  She was happy and relieved.  I was happy and relieved.  A few days later I wrote her a poem and stuck it in the mail.

Hippity Hoppity
All's well
the Doc
Stolen afternoons
sharing the good news
Hippity Hoppity

The Doc in the poem is now my cardiologist and as I left his office last Wednesday, happy and relieved, and with a half-hour to spare, I knew it was the day for me to bravely return for the first time since her death, to our café. 

I sat by the fire. 

I did not cry.

Poem, Easter 2004

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