In the Haut-Jura
If you say Monsieur Ernest
pushing a liaison with your tongue
it sounds like Monsieur rare nest
and he laughs
because he gets the joke,
although he hides his English
so you'll keep showing your French.
He knew your mother when she was a girl
and he's pleased you've stopped in
all the way from l'Amérique
just to see him, not calling him Oncle, or just Monsieur,
Monsieur rare nest.
Quickly he offers cider
to get you to say it again.
If you resist, he holds a piece of Morbier
on the end of his knife
and tells you that cheese is
the answer to everything.
And for a minute you believe him
because lights are coming on
across the valley
and the sweet breath
of baby calves fills the night.
– Gabriella Brand