Upon arriving at the Jardins du Luxembourg, we immediately noticed that nobody was sitting on the grass. Strangely, we didn’t assume, from this, that it was forbidden, but that they … um … didn’t want to? I’m not sure I gave it much thought. Perhaps I chose not to believe the obvious.
Anyways, we found a delightful manicured spot of grass, threw down our scarves as blankets, and lay down to read “The Silver Chair.”
We got through about a chapter when the gendarme came up and yelled at us about being on the grass, and how it was strictly forbidden. We reluctantly joined the other refugees perched on hard iron chairs on the walkways between the spots of beautiful welcoming grass to continue our reading. It seems a great shame to have such a gorgeous park and not allow it to be used in the obvious manner.
And apparently this was his whole job, for the rest of the time that we were there, we watched him chase off perhaps a dozen other people who were misled by the beauty into thinking that it was there for them to enjoy.
July 13, 2007
Jardins du Luxembourg, Paris
Do you remember what it was like
to be young and in love,
to feel the soft grass on your bare feet,
to lie in the cool shade
and read to your lover
about another time and place?
Do you ever wish to kick off
your iron-soled boots,
and, with a quick glance about
for your fellow gendarmes,
toss aside your official hat
and coat, and sit, for a moment,
beneath the poplars you
so jealously guard?