- M. Bombardier
For the small town high school French teacherwho gave them a language, the girls smirked,
tongues leaping at the roofs of their mouths,a sneer on their lips, "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.
Each day he wore the green jacketflecked with black, they marked him.
After class the girls followed himdown the hill under a cave of maples,
peered into the remaining lightof his basement apartment.
They watched him pace,polished shoes glinting. [End Page 23]
Their lungs swollen with gigglesthe girls pranced their way home.
Consider what M. Bombardier saw:the continuous march of white socks,
the parts in the girls hair as they doodled,his last flight over the foggy channel.
One day French class cancelled, hall talkabout the gray gunshot in the afternoon.
The girls huddled, lips like chalk,each walked home through sparser trees
before night pulled the curtains. [End Page 24]
Renée Ruderman is an Associate Professor of English and teaches poetry workshops and other creative writing classes at Metro State College of Denver. Her first poetry collection, Poems from the Rooms Below was published in 1995 by Permanence Press, San Diego. Her second collection, a chapbook, called Certain Losses was published in 2004 by Main Street Rag Press in Charlotte, NC. She has won national prizes for her poems, and some of them have appeared in The Bellingham Review, Xanadu, Eclipse, Buckle &, Borderlands, and New Millennium Writings. Renée has been Writer in Residence at the Vermont Studio Center and The Woodstock Guild.