la Famille Leduc

Pitou growling dans le sous-sol
between the inflatable swimming pool
and les bicyclettes

always a snowman - a bon homme de neige
smiling in the yard
M Leduc raking in amber-coloured leaves
shaped like a squirrel's eyes

Pierre, says Mme Leduc
at night, instead of stars
i see faces
trying to speak

un voleur! un voleur!
and he's through the window with son sac
will someone call un agent de police
au secours! le téléphone sonner

across the halls M Leduc se baigne
he's in the salle de bain
and hears un coup being fired

he lies back in the bath and the water cools
repeats American words from poems once memorized in school
feels the eyes of squirrels watching
the even pink of his skin extending far beyond
the cartooned outline of himself

M Leduc, M Leduc
there's been un vol next door
we better voyageont on nos summer vacances
in our blue car
with Pitou our dog avec Jacques et Claire
we're going to la plage -
i hope Mme Leduc doesn't get the mal de mer!
O Pierre, says Mme Leduc
when i look out the window
instead of other houses
i see only these faces
trying to speak

the horloge says huit heures
and it's time for travail
M Leduc driving la voiture down la rue des arbres

these trees are shaped like my wife's breasts
thinks M Leduc
Mme Leduc cleaning up from le petit déjeuner
making things propre that were sale

in the street directing traffic,
it is the agent de police who a tuer le voleur
with his hands he signals arrêt
then aller, aller

someday, says M Leduc
i will go back to school
i will be one face in a class of faces
watching Americans and pronouncing their names

dans le sous-sol
hidden behind les anciens vêtements of the Famille Leduc
Pitou growls in la langue de dog
there is nothing to étude de lui

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