Montmartre in Paris, France
Montmartre Adventure
by Jennifer Lagier

I evade prepubescent
pickpockets who stalk naive
tourists as they emerge from
the underground Metro.

A watchful Parisian wordlessly
points from his eyes to my wallet,
warns of hands that grab,
distracting their victims.

Eight blocks later, gendarmes
apprehend the young thieves,
force them to sit in a line,
wrists bound, feet in the gutter.

Sketch artists, white-faced mimes,
solicit at Sacré-Coeur cathedral,
posture, entertain passersby,
make indecent proposals to women.

Near the Lapin Agile cabaret,
I visit a wine shop, walls illustrated
with street boys, the French
equivalent of Salinas gang homies.

A late afternoon croque-monsieur,
warm beer mixed with lemonade,
kicking back at an open-air bistro,
make me fit in, feel like a local.

PHOTO: “Morning in the Place du Tertre with Sacré-Coeur Basilica in the background, Montmartre, Paris, France” by Volha Kavalenkava, used by permission.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem and photo are from our week-long stay in Paris in the summer of 2003. My husband, shown in the photo with me, proposed marriage as we sat on the lawn in the gardens under the Eiffel Tower on our second day there.

PHOTO: Oliver Fellguth and Jennifer Lagier at the Eiffel Tower, June 2003.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published eighteen books. Her work appears in From Everywhere a Little: A Migration Anthology, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California, Missing Persons: Reflections on Dementia, Silent Screams: Poetic Journeys Through Addiction & Recovery. Her newest books are Trumped Up Election (Xi Draconis Books) and Dystopia Playlist (CyberWit), with Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress forthcoming from Blue Light Press. Visit her at and find her on Facebook.