Often when I make a mistake,
I imagine that I am in some
mod French movie (oh, sorry—
film) where the action screeches
to a halt, and over everything
is superimposed the word
GAFFE! It helps

to make my mistake
more glamorous, not an
ugly smallness, but a gaffe,
something worthy of notice
by, say, a poodle or an old man
in a striped boatneck sweater.
(I am trafficking in stereotype
here, but this is my fantasy.
Am I not allowed?)

Gaffes are not the end
of the world if they mean
I can retreat for a moment
into this faux French scene
of cafés and umbrellas
where I am not

the worst person
who ever lived, but
just another poor
être humain

stumbling on
cobbled streets
in the rain of
my error.


For NaBloPoMo and PAD Challenge, Day 10 (prompt: a poem with a foreign word in it).