Down Rue Emile Zola to the war memorial
Where the cats lounge in the shade of the names
A couple dozen or so from hereabouts – never made it home

They purr – the cats – not the dead
But don’t get too close
Their claws and fleas protect what memories are left

This small town, built in the round
Church and steeple the highest of the high – naturally
The rest all post-impressionism

And from the water tower on the adjacent hill
A jumble of terracotta tiled rooftops demand the brush
Shutters drawn against outside intrusion

I’m a bit Sunday lost to be honest
Shops all closed, swifts screeching between the gaps
Flying out over olive groves and neat rows of grapevines

The soil, the climate, the topography, the people
It’s what flavours the taste – so they say
In the Cave Cooperative a bottle costs less than you’d think

So we buy a case next day before heading out
A long toll road drive up through the Massif Central
Where angry farmers block the road with tractors and barbecues

Reintroduced wolves are killing their sheep
They stop the traffic; demand the right to shoot on sight
Not us thank god – griffon vultures watch from overhead

Great barn doors spiralling above the Viaduc de Millau
But we move on undetected
Overnight in Vichy, crack open a bottle of the red

Drink a toast to Emile Zola, the cats, the dead
The farmers, wolves, Cézanne, sunflowers, swifts
And not forgetting the terroir that makes it all just what it is

One thought on “Terroir

  1. Pingback: See What I Mean? – TyroCharm

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