Oh to be here.
France, a morning sun smiling in the sky and a third cup of coffee. Too much, what with the doctor saying only two, but the cream so good and the croissants beyond delicious. Not here to see anyway.
Bad for one’s heart and an extra beat here and there but a need to live in a world constrained by everything. Well, not sunshine and food but the rest of it.
Husband gone up against the wall back in Petrograd and out with a baby under each arm and nurse with the others. Nothing but the rubies from mother’s tiara picked out and sewn into little girl pinafores.
Finland and then round and round like riding on a Catherine wheel from spoke to spoke. Gibraltar and a fellow but not the marrying kind. Living from spark to spark and pawn shop to pawn shop with a ruby gone in each place.
But all right in the end. A new husband and even nicer than the first one. Well, not an aristocrat but a lawyer who gets rich defending dukes and princes and that’s almost as good.
The children big with tiny children of their own and all down for Easter. A treat it is.
But still. Impossible to walk the cliff to the beach. People that want you to do things when all you want to do is remember.
Back and back. Saint Petersburg and Grandmama and the photographer. Hair bow forgotten but a little brother with a sash in tartan silk. Gone from diphtheria the next year but a treasure while he was there.
Someone to play with and someone to tend . . . .a warm nursery and a mother that got all dressed up to go to balls at the palace coming up before bedtime looking like a princess in a fairy tale . . . all one needs . . .never mind what came later . . .good one didn’t know . . .