eiffel tower

The Wehrmacht coveted the wealth of France,

its grain, vines, ports, its past—and Paris most

of all.  They planned, and took their shining chance.

Admiring it, they didn’t want its ghost,


or ruins!  They too were Franks.  “Leben wie Gott

in Frankreich” was their watchword.   Notre-Dame,

the Eiffel Tower, Concorde, the Louvre besot

them: vital presence, history, art.  The bomb


that struck Saint-Séverin was not a deed

of mad, misogynist fanatics, born

to hate, dehumanized by their own creed—

with Allah’s blessing, cruel puppets sworn


to murder or convert.—  We see too well

how new attackers want the West to rot;

they’d kill the culture with the infidel.—

It’s foolish to be nice.  De Gaulle was not,


nor Patton, nor was Charles Martel, who drove

the Saracens from Tours, quite nasty work—

essential, though— nor John, the king who strove

for Christendom, and won, against the Turk.


Past errors stain us, but do not excuse

today’s; and suicide remains a crime.

The dead require a stand.  Who could refuse?

Requite them, and save France, while there’s still time.

Catharine Savage Brosman

Dr. Brosman taught literature at Tulane University and is the poetry editor for Chronicles Magazine.

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