The joke of the Sapeurs-Pompiers
A lady hoping to hire a van for her family
phoned the wrong number and got the fire station
but so intent on speaking French and impressing
her daughters who were hovering…’Monsieur
I need a vehicle that can seat six
with room for quantities of luggage’
The voice that answered was deep and masculine
and full of concern and savoir-faire.
‘We could send one of our smaller fire engines
but perhaps the ladder truck would be more suitable.
Now if you’ll give me your street and arrondissement…’
The phone fell shaking into the cradle. A fire engine
might be coming at any moment. Sirens blazing
handsome pompiers and even a fire dog
roaring past, laughing and barking.
‘Run,’ she said to her daughters and they fled
around the corner and into a café.
Next day she went to a car hire company.
Elizabeth Smither’s latest collection, Night Horse, won the poetry award at the Ockham Book Awards 2018.