Ann Arbor Review


Chris Lord
Joseph McNair
Duane Locke
Lazlo Slomovits
Alan Britt
Shutta Crum
Tolu Ogunlesi
Jerry Blanton
Paul B. Roth
Fred Wolven
Felino Soriano
Sharon E. Boyd
Joanie Freeman
Jumoke Verissimo
Running Cub
Jeanpaul Ferro
S. P. Flannery
Kristina Marie Darling
Gary Beck
Dike Okoro
Karyn M. Wolven


La Belle France,
most fickle of allies,
or committed oppositionist,
possibly once a true,
if albeit flighty friend.
What did we do
to alienate you?
In your war with England
for possession of the new world,
so what if we sided with England.
After all, we were them.
And you did send nasty Indians,
who scalped our women and children.
Then in Revolutionary War times
you supported us against the English,
although it was more to thwart them,
rather than to really help us,
but we didn't resent you.
When revolutionary fervor
removed a large number of heads
from aristocratic shoulders,
we didn't publicly deplore
your Gallic excess.
We may have compelled Napoleon,
to make the Louisiana Purchase,
which we cleverly manipulated,
before there was a law of eminent domain.
So what if it was a swindle.
Business is business,
whether French or American.
Didn't you try to sneak a king next door,
in Mexico of all places,
despite the Monroe Doctrine,
thinking we were too busy to notice
in our preoccupation with the Civil War.
If we righteously reined in
your imperialism in China,
we said nothing about the rest of Asia, or Africa.
We saved your empire in World War I,
but you never forgave us our youthful power.
You never forgave us World War II,
when we liberated your occupied country
and Le Grand Charles never forgot.
And if that wasn't grudge enough
to build eternal animosities,
smack dab in the early days of the Cold War,
while we were getting shellacked in Korea
you got whomped in Indo-China
and of course couldn't forgive us
for not nuking the Viet Minh.
There was dancing in your streets
when we got zapped in Vietnam
and ever since our ignominious defeat,
you take enormous pleasure
in any of our setbacks,
military or political.
We can only regret
that your stubborn ways
blind you to the overwhelming need
for the services of the good old U.S.A.,
the next time you're in trouble.


Go up the mountains to Valdemossa,
where other tourists certainly have gone
to see where George Sand and Chopin lived,
she smoking her cigars,
he coughing into handkerchiefs.
It is not difficult to picture them,
she flaunting herself before Spanish eyes,
outraged by her trousers and impudent ways,
he delicately covering his mouth,
softly sighing at the turmoil of their days.
How innocent in retrospect they seem
in our time of decadent indulgence.


Gary Beck, New York

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