As a challenge from a group of very talented poets I have written a free form version of this poem. The Rondeau Redoublé is here. I’ll leave you to decide which version you prefer.
I thought I could escape in France
The Pyrenees would guard against the ghosts,
And so it seemed.
The air was hot.
We sweated as we toiled
Breaking sun dried clods of clay
To sow the seeds of English grass.
Work done, we chill with bread and local cheese,
A good red wine.
Chris sitting on the chair says:
“Flore will you give my hair a trim?”
I savour all the beauty in my life
I’m drowsy now, replete with wine and food
The snicking scissors glinting in the sun
Keep time with reggae beat.
Flore flashes me her lovely impish smile.
“It’s time that pony tail was gone.” she says
It seems a good idea, I nod.
She moves to stand behind the chair.
She stretches down to play with my left ear
And pain, it hits me like a fist.
For forty years Moll cut my hair like this.
And now she’s gone
I curl up and I cry.
Flore frightened hugs me
She doesn’t comprehend.
And nor do I.
How can a life of love ambush me in this way?
Will it forever be like this
The unintended cuts from loss and grief?
And still Bob Marley “Stirs it Up”
And the Pyrenees are dancing in the heat.