Wednesday, January 30, 2013


She said it wasn't his time to learn,
he would come to it later then.
My eyes looked at her,
the way they do when I really hear.

So, I took my quick to judge thoughts
and blame-filled finger,
unleashed the anger around my throat
and settled on a path of patience
content to wait.

Quickened at the thought of being taught
while teaching.

Patricia Spreng

Joining this poem with friends at d'Verse Poets for Open Link Night where you will find the wonderful words of poets.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fermé la bouche

Fermé la bouche.

Mom was forever telling us kids to stop saying “shut up” and “oh my God.”  So, one of us nine girls must have found a secret French connection and fermé la bouchewas born. Before you knew it, no one was yelling “shut up” any more.

Of course, this was long before siri, the internet, or iphone translator apps.  Clearly, this was not listed under “F” in our Webster’s Dictionary and even more disturbing, it was nowhere to be found in our edition of Funk and Wagnalls.  So, no one really knew what it meant. Except her, the sister who ‘knew’ French.  I thought it sounded suspiciously like a feminine hygiene product.  But no one would address that concern.

Fermé la bouche.
She loved the way it rolled off her tongue and gave strength to her meaning. Whatever it was. It made her believe in her own authority.  Soon, we all needed to try it and feel for ourselves, the power of a foreign tongue. We said it hard and fast. We said it slow and soft.  We declared war with it and laid our dollies to sleep with it.  We stressed every conceivable syllable with as many intonations.  There was a lot of “fermé la bouche”-ing going on.

At some point, I tired of her puff-uppery and listening to her fermé la bouchethis andfermé la bouchethat.  She had met her résistance. “Shut up!” I yelled, among other things.  She swore to God I’d go to hell for calling her a “fool” (but …”you are”… I added.)  “Don’t fools go to hell too?”  If only I had known how to say it properly… “Les imbéciles ne vont-ils pas à l'enfer aussi?”

I knew she knew the Bible about as well as she knew French.  So, I put my sword down and picked up my pen instead.  Én garde.

Funny, … to this day… she wields a gavel and I, a pen.  C’est la vie.

Patricia Spreng

And this below, just for the sheer fun of it!!  

I'm joining friends at d’Verse for the Poetics prompton Foreign Tongues.  Truly, this started out as a poem and then it ran away from me, so I let it go.  My apologies for breaking the rules this time. = ) 

(and… Sara, if you read this… you’ll know I took a few liberties.Fermé la bouche.”  = )

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Breath

winter breath prayers

longing hearts 
left cold
and tears frozen

Patricia Spreng

joining the crowd at d'Verse Poets for open link night... come and read the wonderful words of poets... and add your own!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Just a Whiff*

Love,” he whispered.
What’s love got to do with it?”
she rasped in her best Tina Turner,
I need coffee’ voice.

Running on empty,
fumes escaped her.
Though driven,
she couldn’t start…
wouldn’t even turn over

until he primed her
with wafting tendrils
of hot, black beans
like her.

Patricia Spreng

*just·a·whiff·i·ca·tion [juhs-tuh-wi-fi-kay-shuh n]  noun
1.  The process of being made right by just a whiff of coffee and the promise of comfort it brings.
Joining with friends at TS Poetry Press where the January theme is coffee or tea… and so, I add me.  = )

And the good folks at d’Verse Poets for Tuesday's Open Link Night.