Lyrical Somerville – October 4

On October 4, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times


Julie Cristal is a freelance writer and essayist from Shaker Heights, Ohio.  Her blog can be found at Julie wrote this poem about her late mother-in-law who treated her and her sister-in-law to a trip in the South of France to celebrate her cancer being in remission.

She Knew


Julie Cristal

In her cool Merino wool slacks

She knew

Buy it– she smiled with glee

and so the gracious mahogany breakfront

sat before us

Lonely in the corner

dusty, its rounded glass doors

peering at us

like eyes through sunglasses.

Buy it she said

and the translator we hired

to guide us through Arles

negotiated – clumsy smiles –

with the elegant owner of the

antique shop on the River Rhone.

She knew

Buy it she said

and she waved her hand

at all the ways I could imagine

why it was an impossible purchase

fretting over the logistics of a

France to USA shipment.

Buy it she said

and I did.

And we toasted the acquisition

over rose wine in fine crystal

at the wood-beamed and stone home

in the tiny French village of

the translator.

Who understood.

Buy it she said

and she knew

That in nine months she would be gone

leaving us to celebrate life

and love

dinner after dinner

year after year

generation after generation

along with the



once-forgotten breakfront.

She knew.


— Julie Cristal




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Doug Holder, 25 School St.; Somerville, MA 02143


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