French lessons

Baby steps and the sweet sounds of discovery.
Sudden infants again we are enamoured
with vowel games, laughing at lip-smacking antics.
We are terrified, tantalised,
subject and subjected as pale pages
squirm with whole geographies of conjugates,
rituals and rites.
Ask us how we made sense of syntax and sign,
threading it together, pulling off
false impressions.
Ask not, because our gods became singers,
Aznavour lamenting yesterday seemed solace
for poseurs snatching, lifting, arranging
into fictions for the test.
Enraptured our teacher bought
imitation as the real thing,
imploring us to come back next year, once more.

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