In the Haut-Jura

A poem.

In the Haut-Jura 

If you say Monsieur Ernest
 too quickly
 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,
 but
 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

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