Conjugating Our Son in French

April 10
NaPoWriMo’s prompt: write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happening at once. Just living daily life in French while thinking in English is a bit like patting my head and rubbing my tummy at the same time.  (For more on that story click here.)

It’s almost noon and our son is still
in the third person singular
sleeping alone, in his room, with the door closed.

I think he’s supposed to be
in the third person plural
somewhere with his friends right now.

I’m full stop ready to knock, right in front of his door.
Yes? Non? Oui? Better not. Peut-être but. Hmmm
I raise my knuckles to knock, drop to hip, up to knock, drop…

It’s not easy being a first person singular mom
at such moments.
I wish I were in the first person plural with you;

we’d figure out what to do.
I’d hate to wake him up for no reason but
it’s imperative that we teach him

how to conjugate
what pleases him with his commitments.
Just how, right now, remains interrogative.

 Written by Elizabeth Boquet, April 2018

2 thoughts on “Conjugating Our Son in French

  1. I am in love with the title. And this says it all:

    It’s almost noon and our son is still
    in the third person singular
    sleeping alone, in his room, with the door closed.

    As someone who is currently conjugating herself in different languages (why oh why did I pair Korean and Finnish), and who grew up in a multi-lingual household, this resonates enormously!

    Liked by 1 person

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