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Anthony Amsterdam

Scene in a Paris Courtyard

All afternoon the high-walled courtyard’s floor
is shadow-flooded, sunk in blue-grey gloom.
But just at sunset, strokes of amber light
flare across it like a dripping oar
that drives a tired dory home,
beach-safe at last from lunging, cresting night.


The cobbles glow a moment. Through a door
a shawl-wrapped woman limps. She brings
her wooden bucket to the courtyard tap, and bends
and fills it like a voyager
revisiting her sun-touched, momentary inland spring
before embarking on a lightless ocean without end.

About the Author

Anthony Amsterdam is a criminal defense lawyer, specializing in death cases. That’s a bleak way to live. To get away from it briefly, he travels, writes poetry, or both. He has published travel poems in volume 22 of The Ear, in Harper’s, and in other journals.