Champagne du Belair, Sept. 10 ~ Robin Chapman

 

Dear Ones—here we are, South of France,
tucked into an old walnut mill retrofitted
for Eurotourists looking for gastronomic
thrills—duck breast steamed in hay, a wine
cellared for thirty years, chocolate darker
than our winter months, our thoughts
turning like the waterwheel to our friends
who brought us here two years ago for a lunch
of Michelin stars—closed, as it happened,
but we are back, and our friend back, too,
from spring infusions of chemo, digging out
of snow drifts for another hospital run,
come back to health and hope for another
thirty years—we lift our glasses. We drink
to life, the cheeses aging in the cellar,
the turning of the waterwheel.