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Speaking of Québec
Karla Linn Merrifield

I’ve fallen back into it
after ten days across Quebéc:
le français.
I ask for directions
to the marché d’alimentation,
locals’ mouthful for grocery store.
When I need to flip a new Bic
for my foul habit,
I manage to sputter
Es-ce vous avez  des aloumettes
pour les cigarettes?
I get by at la pharmacie
searching for the equivalent
of Citrucil and calcium supplements,
find Glucosamine, Condroitin the same
in both my languages.
I pepper my days with la langue romantique.
the length of the Gaspé and back,
via Le Vieux Quartier in the provincial capital,
through the messy mélange of Montréal’s
expressways upstream on the Saint Laurence
to the western border into Ontario.
I learn to say yes all over again
like a native Canadienne of perfect accente nasale,
repeating oui, oui, oui all the way home.
© Karla Linn Merrifield
Used with the author’s permission.

Karla Linn Merrifield describes herself as “a poet who likes to go places” and “one who likes to take people places.”  Her two newest books, Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Mercury Heartlink) and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing), take readers across the American West (at its wildest!) and into the jungles of Peru and Brazil. Other books have had Karla writing from Antarctica and Canada and one forthcoming from Salmon Poetry, Athabaskan Fractal and Other Poems of the Far North, leads readers to Greenland and the almost-North Poleno bug spray, sunscreen, or down parka required! Learn more about Karla, the Vagabond Poet, at

Post New Comment:
Beautiful language slipping into another tongue. Thank you!
Posted 06/06/2013 02:07 AM
Posted 05/29/2013 08:27 AM
What fun!
Posted 05/29/2013 08:15 AM
Hilarious!!! (Tres drole)
Posted 05/29/2013 05:42 AM
eh, ca va Karla..."la langue romantique" dans le Quebec est aussi un "melange desordonne", mais poesie agreable!
Posted 05/29/2013 05:15 AM

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