Pèlerinage

by Russ Sargent

Dreaming of Petrarch’s world
with its mountain laurels and
green water in those streams
running through the Vaucluse
where Acteon caught forbidden glimpses
and Char said every sowing was hated
in this land where the poets sleep
with vines binding their inebriations
to the night and I am so anxious
to get out into the countryside
to breathe the oxygen from white flowers
sampling gentle ambient touches
of golden air and birds in the sun
because that’s why I came to Avignon
a genuine locus amoenus of the mind
knowing I’d be where real poets walked
until I woke up too early this morning
on cardboard on a floor in the
train station where the guards
kicked me so I wouldn’t fall asleep
so close to their feet.