Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bastille Day plus One

Phew! Just finished the first draft of the second book in the Seriously Sassy! series for Puffin. And received the final editorial notes for book one. I'll start on them tomorrow, but tonight I'm taking a wee break. Hence this rather overdue posting.

Over the last couple of months I've been on Hoy, one of the Orkney islands, which was idyllic, Dublin to see Ian's mum, London for the annual Puffin Party - brilliant! - and Manchester where Ian's oldest daughter, the one and only Rosie Macpherson was performing in a play she and some fellow students devised together. Like father, like daughter.

So it's good to be home. And yesterday I had a chat with my neighbour, a francophile, who wished me Happy Bastille Day. Which reminded me of the following poem...

In a Paris Supermarket July 13th 1989

We were bantering about what to buy – I
planned a coq-au-vin to celebrate
the Revolution. You said why not go
the whole hog, pig out on a leg of pork
cooked in cream and calvados, and already
our trolley was full enough to feed
a third world nation when we saw him.

He had a loaf of bread pointed
at the check-out girl. She was counting out
the pile of coins he’d emptied from a purse.
You thought he was seven. I said
nine or ten, but underfed.

He didn’t have enough to buy the bread. But
he waited like a wide-eyed rabbit, frozen
in the middle of the road, with a bottleneck
of trolleys queuing up to run him down.

One franc more, the girl said really loud.
But we were too stressed out, tapping our toes
and tutting, or maybe we were mesmerized
by muzak - but no-one made a move and suddenly
the kid ran off without the bread.

Let’s leave this trolley here, you said.
I’m not hungry any more.
I guess we’re still a hundred years too early
to celebrate the Revolution.

Magi Gibson

1 comment:

Magi Gibson said...

Should have said. Rosie was great in her play!


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