Monique’s husband got shot in the head

by a teen-age sniper as he entered Berlin.

Soon after his landing at Normandy,

she met and married him in Cherbourg.

She was a bona fide Bohemian who created

a Gertrude Stein-type Paris salon in her home

by inviting all the creative artists, writers,

actors, and musicians living in Iowa City.

Guests were invited to share work—

poetry, painting, songs and dance routines.

Bongo drums were de rigueur.

(Gene Wilder) kept everyone belly laughing.

I watched a Writers’ Workshop future

Poet Laureate (Donald Justice) choreograph

a dance routine—a bullfight with matadors

and picadors moving to the Flamenco music

of guitars and castanets.

Monique was my classmate in psychology,

and invited me to one of her wild parties

to sample her legendary bouillabaisse.

She asked for my help to scare away

a Peeping-Tom looking in her windows,

arming me with a toggle-locked Luger,

a souvenir of her husband’s combat.

I did as she requested, scaring

the be-Jesus out of the Peeper.

My reward was not unexpected.