Brigitte François « After », Marie-Christine Chevron « In my family we »…

Ces textes ont été écrits sur une proposition d’écriture de Alain André à partir de Qui sait, de Pauline Delabroy-Allard. Ils figurent parmi les douze textes sélectionnés.

Brigitte François


At home, we hardly ever spoke. Or talked, to tell the truth. Necessary news only, questions about

school of course. Orders given without second thoughts : go buy bread or milk, be on time, respect

the parents’ schedule, no matter what. Radio on, loud, covering street noises and voices inside.

On holiday, we hardly ever spoke either. Or discussed. Plans were made, to be followed – the next

climb, the next dinner, the next invitation of other adults – preferably without children.

Later, we hardly spoke. Grown child, almost adult, total lack of understanding, of true interest. Only

mattered the account of school results -had to be good, of course-, and the prevention of strictly

forbidden activities such as going out with friends, or even having friends.

Hence a question : why allow to leave for a remote country that required planes or boats to get to,

why no questions asked upon returning, why only an assessment of progress that could be of some

value at university?

At home, we didn’t talk but for health concerns.

Later, came traffic and delays, absences, late comings home, reproaches and moaning, anger too…

but no talk.

Decision was made to leave, no word spoken, papers handed out for signature, with little

explanation. Moving out was helped by the father, the mother sulking at her parents’ place. No talk

but prodigal tenderness given, as for making up for lost time.

At home, we hardly ever spoke. Out of home, we talked with others.

At home, may be now, words do get spoken.


Marie-Christine Chevron

In my family, we…

We laugh out loud. We breathe the great fresh air of the countryside. We stroke gently our pets. We watch wild animals wandering around the house. We read books, books and books. We never cry but for joy. We admire the sunrise and the sunset. We water flowers and every growing thing. We go swimming in a green emerald lake.We are omnivorous. We don’t eat foie gras. We love to sleep. We never watch football on tv. We speak several languages. We admire General de Gaule. We admire all resistants. We paint, we draw. We don’t live in a box. We think out of the box. We argue. We have cloth napkins at dinner. We sneeze in nicely ironed handkerchiefs. We like bees and honey. We wax our floors. We celebrate birthdays. We put cakes in the oven. We listen to prodigies. We listen to the wind. We wait for the common swifts to come. We look at maps. We plant trees. We smile at babies. We wear wristwatches. We don’t use mobile phones. We look at ourselves in beautiful handcrafted golden mirrors. We don’t go to funerals. We have snack at five. We drink herbal tea. We write poetry. We love each other. We never sigh. We drink the elexir of life. We don’t snigger. We jump in. We are gentle. We are fond of Master Yoda. We’re not followers. We don’t collect things. We cycle in our dreams. We don’t talk about money. We don’t talk about religion either. We watch Star Wars. I look at the sky. I’m a star. I hope I will join the Milky Way way, way, up there. I’ll do it my way.