Innocence Abroad

Written by: Robert Ludden

Scarce a year it was before my birth,
that Lindy set The Spirit down
at Le Bourget one night
and all the old voitures
as suddenly lit up the runway
with their headlights. 
as he taxied to a stop.

Thirty years beyond, I landed there
from fair Bruxcelles and it was day;
the city of the light took rest
avant le gaiete of night—
there was no welcoming:
"Attencion Monsieur,
you are in zee way,"
and my attempt at French
brought only curious stare.

"Et je n'ai pas de plus argent
and little more to bear me home
to Orleans.  Je suis un etranger
dans ma cite des grandes lumieres, "
I thought, and sent my fond farewell
to Brussels and its wondrous minature
Etats Unis and Circarama
still unknown in fifty years back here.

Sacre Bleu!  C'est incroyable
that naked little boy in Belgium,
and the Champs above the catacombs
in Paris, now still flaunt their youth,
their vibrancy, as I advance
to that dim room somewhere
when irony prevails—where Lindy,
luckier than I, will share with me
the just equality of death.