Le Madame du Café Montmartre
Tucked within a hidden alley
Just beyond the city square
Lies a rather fine establishment
To which no other can compare.
Some may find it fairly seedy;
However, the locals do all know
For cabernet and romance,
It is the only place to go.
The menu changes nightly
With the jazz a bit too loud;
Arriving after the dinner hour,
You'll likely miss the crowd.
For once the din subsides,
Lovers' whispers can be heard
Though the anticipation's felt
Without deciphering a word.
Overseeing each exchange
Is the proprietress we all know
As the highly regarded feline -
The Madame of Café Momo.
Immune to flattery of any sort,
She silently sips her wine
From a shadowed corner table
At which she later may dine.
On a perfectly blackened salmon
Or a well-seasoned florentine.
She'll rarely offer the time of day
Or acknowledge you've been seen.
Yet, let us make no mistake,
Not a moment does she miss
For her unblinking eyes
Catch each and every stolen kiss.
Greeting the dance of courtship
With her characteristic ennui,
She'll certainly bear her claws
If any disrespect comes to be.
Each one of her divas,
Though so eager to present,
In Madame's eyes remains naïve
Despite beauty heaven-sent.
All throughout the evening,
Her queens coif and they groom
While pondering which lucky tom
They'll invite back to their room.
Each must meet Madame's approval
Or back out to the street he'll go
For once the cabaret commences,
Nothing comes before the show.
Even Madame will perform tonight
As the first upon the stage
While the pianist's paws fumble
Through the music on the page.
Reassuring her accompaniment,
She saunters across the floor.
Yes, those remaining are here to stay
As she latches the front door.
The strings, at last, come in tune
As the houselights slowly fall;
And, Madame's moonlight croon
Never once turns to caterwaul.
See, Madame in her youth
Knew the fierce love of a tom;
But, it wasn't too much later,
She found herself a mom.
She knows first-hand the hardship
Of alone caring for young lives
For seldom do the toms return
To take their mistresses as wives.
The fate of Madame's little ones
Is, indeed, a sad story to tell
For the ferals of the city streets
Often know a living hell.
If you watch her face closely,
You may notice a tear, though rare.
This is not a show of weakness
But the offering of a prayer
That requests of the heavens
For her heart to one day mend
Though she knows many souls,
In innocence, will meet their end.
Thus, Madame has made it clear
As her own dues have been paid
That each queen in this cathouse
Makes it a priority to be spayed.
Though none of these lovely ladies
Hesitate to make her desires known,
Madame's ensured they'll never live
Through a heartbreak of their own.
Copyright: Kelly Bodeaux