Once a Hungarian hidden child,
my widowed friend,
looks like a withered ghost
of her former self.

Her former husband, a Viennese gent,
who ran from the Nazis in ’38,
was addicted to éclair chocolat
sheathed in Venezuelan cacao
and burnished flecks of gold.

He n could never get enough
of a brief hint of paradise
hidden within each pastry.

By just saying: “Je voudrais un éclair,”
he would lapse into a transcendental state.

He relished the tempered snap of the éclair,
and, as it melted in his mouth and on his hands,
his ability to handle it without crumbling.

There is no pomp or pimping
with the décor of the patisserie,
only a scraggly plant in the corner
under the funereal glow of a fluorescent light.

The widow’s face comes alive
when she runs the gaullic gauntlet
to a visceral bond with Claude,
the baker with an open heart