I lived a summer in a backpack in Europe. In hostels and trains. In two alternating sets of T-shirts and shorts, and a pair of sandals.

I roamed the continent alone shooting 35 mm film and writing things that I sure hope will reemerge from boxes or journals I’ve yet to re-find and re-enter.

The poem that follows is one I have found, one that tells of an unwitting interaction on a July morning on Rue Saint-Denis in Paris.

The Professional

There was a mis-

understanding. She

took exception to my

camera, it’s gaze

pointed in her

direction, ish

but beyond. She

warbled in French,

and I not.

I was slow

to recognize her work,

her high heels, high

skirt, her availability

along Rue

Saint-Denis. In a

blink of aha! the cognitive

gap filled with an awkward

smile and adieu. And

at that she swatted

my backside with

a closed, black

umbrella and

laughed.


I share poetry often on Humanitou, poems written in nature and along the mountain trails near my home, sitting in a waiting room or grocery store parking lot, and pulled from the years.

You can get a free digital copy of my chapbook Echoes of Oms or buy a print copy via Amazon. You also can checkout the first taste of my in-progress chapbook, San Agustinillo, with “The Boats.” #showyourwork

unsplash-logoBuco Balkanessi