Going to Canada


In Quebec Canada , Mommy and I climb up to
St. Anne De Bow-Pray on our knees
praying the prayer on the sign on each step.
The alter is a mountain of braces and crutches
thrown away by the healed people.
Daddy lets us stop at the restaurant.
I ask Mommy if they have French food.
Green cheese? The waitress asks.
Green cheese?
The big hotel room is all fringes
patterns, textures, carved tables and chairs.
I think Europe must be like this.
The chambermaid picks up my Tiny Tears doll.
She wears a uniform like in the movies
and asks me questions in French.
I understand exactly what she is saying, but
I’m not sure how to answer.
I look at my mother who smiles and says go on. . .
On our way out of town Dad stops for gas;
one giant, squeaky balloon, free, with a fill-up.
Mommy, can you tell me what to say:
Uh baa-luh-see-vou-play.
The balloon shrivels before the next bathroom stop.