Narbonne 1987


At eight in the morning, after coffee

we must leave the House of Friendship

to pass the freezing day the best we can.


The Mistral is relentless so wine is bought

from a supermarket. All of us adrift

in the pointless boat of this town's winter.


Watching the more fortunate as they pass,

we wrap up well and comment on life;

we talk of sex like a distant folk tale.


Someone will get a dozen local oysters

from the kiosk; add a splash of lemon.

They slip down easy with a redolence of sea.


There's a guy who always carries a baguette

under the arm of his charity overcoat.

As old and hard as stone, just for appearances.


He's scared of the police - doesn't want

to be seen as a vagrant and as is well known,

the baguette is a symbol of respectability.


Just another snapshot of my misspent youth.

French Literary Review #32, September 2019, Editor: Barbara Dordi












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john short

Tue 10th Sep 2019 12:05

Hi Devon,

Thanks for your appreciation. Didn't seem that sad at the time but I guess we were desensitized. Thanks also for sharing that story. Amazing the people we meet through life.

John S

Devon Brock

Mon 9th Sep 2019 21:30


This is amazingly sad, and brilliant. I have met in my life a few men like that, and this brings to mind an old cobbler I once new in Chicago, who was put out of his craft by large scale manufacture. He would never beg, however. He always maintained his suit and hat as best he could. His stained tie always knotted perfectly. Thank you for this.


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