Map of France

Map of France

We are moving to France
For six months.

I have highlighted the place
in orange on the map. Only
twenty houses, no patisseries,
no romantic tabac, no school at
4 rue de L’Ecole, just people
and we hope, children.

We are moving to France
For six months.

Past Perpignan, Quillan and Puivert,
Where there is a castle and a café,
open in the summer and some Australians.
There is a market for the locals and La Poste.
We are going in winter.

We are moving to France
For six months.

The photograph of our converted barn
off the net is grainy and black
and white, like an image from the last war.
I see thin men in striped pyjamas.

We are moving to France
For six months.

The walls are two feet thick,
Too thick for ears,
shuttered and grey-stoned.
Silence then inside except
for soft voices. A child and
a mother speaking in Anglais,
fluent and fearful.

We are driving into the map
in our Renault on the wrong side of the
world, getting smaller and smaller as we zero in on Campgast.
past Quillan, Puivert and the Australians.

Neither of us knows a soul or any French
beyond s’il vous plait and ca va monsieur,
our exchanges timid and polite.

Nous allons demenager a France
Pendant six mois.

We don’t know any French.
our foreign tongues are tied.

 

Sue Heggie

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *