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BELLE FEMME: A Birthday Gift


          A Birthday Gift


by Geoffrey Jones


She doesn’t know I am watching

Her… I like it this way… She is

Without awareness… Or inhibition…

Or defense…


The sun vanishes somewhere

Beyond the horizon but

Leaves behind a fleeting trace

Of burgundy, peach, and gold…

In tribute, I think, to the

Journey from dawn to dusk…


Soon it will be dark as the

Warmth of the street lamps will

Be all that remains to light our

Way… Boulevard Bistro awaits

Us at eight o’clock sharp…


Glancing in the mirror she

Puts on her face while swaying

To the gentle rhythm of Latin jazz

That aimlessly wanders in from

The parlor…


Childish and sultry she

Addresses her reflection, and then

Surveys the surface of the vanity

On which perfumes and powders

Are casually arrayed…


Of course she needs none of

This… Yet she subtly adorns herself

With colors, and mists, and sprays…

All to great effect, but with very

Little effort… So beautiful is she

That less is more…


In rare moments of self-doubt

She regrets the lines and modest

Imperfections… But I’ll be damned

If I see them… It’s been fifty-three

Years since first we met… And to

These aging eyes nothing at all

Has changed…


A single strand of pearls… And a

Black cocktail dress… And that’s

All I ever need to know…


Many things in life are open

To debate, but it is a simple truth

That God was at the top of his

Game on the day she was brought

Into being…


I then smile a satisfied smile…

For I know at the top of the hour

I will be the privileged one to

Escort her on my arm to the



All elegance and grace… I

Will be the lucky one to dine

With her tonight by candlelight…

Just the two of us together…

All alone… In a very crowded



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