My mother taught French for twenty-one years.  A few weeks ago, she shared her favorite poem by French poet, Jacques Prévert.  I read it casually, standing in my kitchen.  I gasped, and then I read it again.  I took a seat and read it a third time.

Breakfast (Dejeuner du matin)

by Jacques Prévert

He poured the coffee
Into the cup
He put the milk
Into the cup of coffee
He put the sugar
Into the coffee with milk
With a small spoon
He stirred
He drank the coffee
And he put down the cup
Without speaking to me
He lighted
A cigarette
He made circles
With the smoke
He shook off the ash
Into the ashtray
Without speaking to me
Without looking at me
He got up
He put
A hat on his head
He put on
A raincoat
Because it was raining
And he left
In the rain
Without a word
Without looking at me
And I buried
My face in my hands
And I cried.

Reading this poem is like watching a scene from a movie.  The imagery is crystal clear.  When Prévert lifted his pen to write the first line, he must have yelled, “Aaaaand…Action!”  With a quick Google search, I found several film interpretations.  Check out my favorite:

For several years, I’ve had a scene in my own mind.  After reading Prévert’s poem, I was inspired to put it on paper (or screen, as it were).

The Funeral

What I remember is
My hand covering hers
Our shoulders pressed together
My forearm resting on hers
His fingers at the base of my neck
The tip of my shoe tapping his knee
A couch full of twisted limbs
And towering above us
My Uncle, his head bowed
Reading from pages
That did not quiver
In his long fingers
The same Uncle
Who stroked her hand
Until it was over
While the rest of us
And our tangled limbs
Watched through the glass

Cut!  Perhaps this film needs a new director – or the script needs a little work.  What do you think?  Send me your feedback.  Help me with take two.  Rolling…


3 thoughts on “Action!

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