Yesterday I was chez le coiffeur, and Charles and I were talking about his old-rose garden in Poitou.
I sighed and said, "I am envious. I wish I had just one tree of my own!"
The assistante began to hum "Auprès de mon arbre," the famous song by Georges Brassens.
Charles's face lit up. He recited:
Mon dieu je saurais supporter l'injuste solitude
mais laissez-moi un arbre, un seul pour l'abriter.*
"That's very nice!" I said. "Who wrote that?"
"I did," said Charles. He wrote it down for me and his face took on a dreamy look. "I used to write a lot of poetry when I was young."
"I did too," I said. "My father said that everyone is a poet until age 25."
"I hope one day to begin again, when I have more time and peace," said Charles. He smiled. "I did not imagine this morning that I would ever be reciting my poetry to anyone, but what you said was exactly what I wrote, so it came into my head. C'est merveilleux!"
*[My God, I could bear the unfair loneliness
but leave me one tree, just one, to shelter it.]