Bad French and Ficus Trees
by Matt Randall

Disturbed by the dying air conditioning,
the dusty fake tree beats a torn branch
against the dirty window. I look at it and
wonder why it hasn’t been replaced—or dusted.

At the table behind me, a blonde studies
French, loudly spitting conjugated verbs
all over her cold mochacinno and half-eaten scone.
Her accent is horrible, but no one says anything.

She doesn’t bother me that much, though
I toy with the idea of saying tu es une vache violet
just to see if she understands. But that would break my
silence, acknowledge my lack of concentration.

Looking back to my own table, I stare at
the book open in front of me. But the
stark black and white words, bones of
ancient Egypt, do not interest me.

I look up again, bad French soundtrack still playing,
and watch the dusty ficus leaves sway.

Matt Randall has written everything from technical documents and real estate articles to science-fiction and sestinas. He is also the co-founder of PegLeg Publishing, a small independent publishing company in Oklahoma City, and co-editor if GlassFire Magazine. When he’s not writing and editing, Matt enjoys reading, spending time at IHOP, and collecting gnomes.