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The Great French Collection

Before the smells are smelt

Before the lids are lifted

Before the bread is broke

The clatter of cutlery

The smelly gooey goodness

Smeared across chewy crust

Sipping red wine immensely

Pleasure provoking, slurping

Down sustained company craving


Before the built-up pillar of

The going nowhere French society

Takes place, the goods bearing collection

Must be carried out, about and home


See round here weekend feasts don’t tarnish

With sad supermarket’s all-inclusive ways

No, these feasts are sanctioned

By way of town square mingling

Building blocks of stocked shops

The association of people and place

Intrinsically woven into

The very means of living well
Like the trod-on stone pavers themselves

Built up to be something grander

Than the single simple act

Of exchanging money for food


The well-dressed seasoned troops

Sent off to collect cliché goods

Distinguished men with newsboy caps

Fruitful woman with pressed jackets

Squinting with idealistic eyes

Through round metal spectacles

Through lavishly plump acetate


Bucherie, fromagerie, boulangerie, patisserie

Bonjour, ça va? Oui, ça va?

Cemented relations of the highest order

Slowly pointing at piled goods

Smelling through future’s vision

Familiarity of fortunous food

Weathered mouths becoming

Wet with excitement

Doing rounds until lists are ticked

Leaving with brimming bags

Of raw and potent potential

Baguettes protruding proudly

Swaying with rhythms of creaky hips


See, these breathing relics of prestige past

Have danced this eager dance many times before

Yet somehow even though the score is known

There’s a youthfulness in their movements

There’s a delightful charm in their small talk

They’ve held onto what it means to be French

Through the modern world of fast food and cars

They’ve retained the romance of the great collection

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