Yesterday was New Year’s Eve and the fountain
was drained to prevent too much merriment.
So the bronze, nude young ladies disport themselves
in dry, cold air. The equestrian statue
of Maria Theresa, mother
of sixteen, and the last of the Holy
Roman Empresses appears unamused,
though whether by the municipality’s
actions or the girls’ appears unclear.
Last month’s heavy snow remains in small,
sheltered drifts behind occasional trees.
What was an Hungarian aristocrat’s
formal palace garden in the French style
has become – by dint of many wars
and a few revolutions – a public park,
where my granddaughter, descendant of Celts,
Jews and Vikings, a competitor, sprints
on the white, gravel paths.