Vaison, twenty years ago. Though heat
squeezed the houses between hills and sky,
she’d have loved the square, where plane tree leaves
laid shadow palm prints on the ground,
the gritty voices of the south, and the river’s
limestone like eroded bone,
sunlight glimmering on swift green water.
we walked past cries from the swimming pool
to a sweaty phone booth. There
while the children fidgeted outside,
while lizards flicked round the stones of the wall,
her news crept down the line and its cold hands caught me.