Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today I heard a story about a French woman who refuses to wait in lines. She is an older woman, a child during the Second World War. When anyone confronts her about her etiquette, she responds that she's waited in enough lines already, now it's her time to be moved to the front.

I imagine her in grocery stores,
elbows full of soup cans,
pushing her way to the register.

In boulangeries, hand raised from the back,
ordering baguettes, daring anyone
to say a word.

In charcuteries, eyeing knives,
taking unrationed meat from
the baskets of others.

In cinemas, demanding front row seats
reminding them of when she pedaled
for the Nazis.

In museums, remembering a time
when the line for La Jaconde would be
around an orange tree,
her forehead touching the bark.

I imagine her during the war,
standing patiently in lines,
long lines
longer than the grocery
longer than the market
longer than the cinema

lines where no one wanted to be first.

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