We flew late, on the year’s busiest Friday,
to Toulouse. As we drove in the hire car
through Haut-Garonne and Midi-Pyrénées
into Gascony, its rolling hills green
with August’s growth, the sun was setting –
the burgeoning fields of sunflowers paused, bats
swooped before the car like twilit angels.
As we topped each rise we could see the glow
fade in the west above the Bay of Biscay.
We arrived in darkness at the pension.
The patronne gave us supper on the terrace –