Travelling in France in his twenty-first year, he vowed to be true
to widening his views. He met a girl who proved to be true
to all his desires. They discussed great thinkers, Voltaire to Camus,
in an Alpine village hidden from view. This story is true.
She taught him to tie flowers, both yellow and blue,
into garlands of ne m'oublie pas, forget-me-nots, her true
point of view. Yet their days of dalliance grew ever few—
his vagabond plan urged him once more to be true
to exploring distant horizons, more places all new,
heeding Shakespeare's advice, “to thine own self be true.”
I am a retired academic professor of medicine at the University of California Davis. My prior poetry has been published in Poetry Now, Medusa's Kitchen, Yolo Crow, The Gambler, and Blood and Thunder. My inspiration for the present poem is a fond memory of my youthful travel and brief love affair in France, immediately after my college education and before entering medical school and my demanding future career.