Le Petit Parisien, 1952

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A small boy running, but not for his life,

as all can see in his fearless smile

and the sense of freedom


that lights his eyes. This is the day

he will always remember,

important only because of an errand


and the small coin he didn’t drop,

holding it up on tiptoes

across the counter of a baker’s shop,


disregarding for once

the glass-fronted shelves of pastries

laid out on a lower level.


The still warm, unwieldy baguette

stowed beneath his arm,

he races homewards. 


At his feet his shadow,

foreshortened, inscrutable,

can only just keep up, one step behind. 


Shape-shifting, a demon,

it seems momentarily a cat –

its back hunched, its dark pelt bristling.

◄ Le Nu Provençal

A Wet Break ►


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M.C. Newberry

Fri 28th Apr 2023 18:17

This took me back to my errands as a boy of about the same age
at that time in a ration-book English village with one shop, a
garage and a church. Thank you for this gentle evocative
reminder of a time long gone.

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 27th Apr 2023 07:11

I love the idea that his shadow can only just keep up, David.

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Stephen Atkinson

Wed 26th Apr 2023 17:36

Lovely stuff 🌈

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Wed 26th Apr 2023 14:15

Love your poetic story-telling from outstanding photogragraphy. So imaginative; it makes the photograph come alive even more. And thanks for introducing me to the photographer, Willi Ronis. I am enjoying checking out his work.

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keith jeffries

Wed 26th Apr 2023 12:15

A moment of joy. An image well recorded and put into words which are apt for a time long passed.
Thank you for this

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Greg Freeman

Wed 26th Apr 2023 10:42

A wonderful image, and subject for a poem, David. Oddly enough, I encountered a small boy just like that in 'real life', or I believe I did, in Paris in 2004. That year they were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the liberation from the Nazis

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