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You're sitting there, hands smeared with clay
You feel good for a bit, like some sort of God
Even with bits of buffstone wedged underneath your fingernails,
you believe that you can create something beautiful - like some sort of deity wishing to gift the earth with the promise of life

Versatile in your hands, the ball of clay bends and folds while thoughts run through the confines of your mind
‘This clay,’ you think to yourself, ‘it’s doughy, weak and indefinite. Just like me.’
But, regardless of the similes and metaphors you pull from the material,
you’re convinced that you can do whatever you wish

Unlike drawing, your creation is not limited by the second dimension
And unlike the guitar, with its muted sounds or ringing E string, it isn’t as hard to destroy the purity of your art

You aren’t naive, and you are aware that it is impossible to create something perfect
It won’t ever be symmetrical, smooth or faultless - something that even we, vulnerable humans, can’t attain
You’ve done all to satisfy the need to transfer your grief, longing, joy and love into art
Maybe this is it
The French language to you, was little more than an inheritance
It was the promise between mother and daughter that a grandchild ought to know the language they used

In Bonnyville, they occupy the church, the Sobeys, the liquor store with that butchered accent
The hybrid between Quebecois French and rural Albertan English - ****, and indecisive

You don’t live in Bonnyville, where the French roam free
The French in Edmonton feels lost, almost unknown
Poorly funded buildings house these Franco-albertans - children with the same inheritance as you

Immersion becomes a ***** word,
worthy of contempt and disgust
All the French kids know each other,
forced to grow up together while being deprived of options
They all go to the same university - the small francophone campus which stands unimpressive in the only neighbourhood in Edmonton where stop signs say ‘arrêt’

Oil Country, home for the right and prosperous, they don’t like you
You, you’re Francophone -
Stuck up, ******, pretentious...
Besides, there are no such things as Franco-albertans.

What could you be other than an invented term by some lost souls?
You aren’t French enough -
Alberta is an English speaking province.

The time you went to France,
someone asked if you were French-Canadian
Before you could reply, your friends spun your story - something believable, commendable...
your parents, lived in Montreal, and moved to Alberta with their wholly French children

Your father grew up in Edmonton,
memorizing the parks and malls by name
while your mother lived on a dairy farm, living in french - the **** acadienesque french.

But, to everyone around you, it’s much more believable that you are a stranger to this province.
Maybe you are.

— The End —