Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Je Ne Regrette Rien"

This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl and is the second freebie for Twitter user Harriet Clough as a new prompter. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fill the "je ne regrette rien" square in my 7-30-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"Je Ne Regrette Rien"


Saint Henriette Delille Hospital
was the best in Easy City
when it came to caring for
people with superpowers.

After hearing that the toddler
rescued from the refugee ship
had some kind of Soul Powers
and already tried to bond
with a Coast Guard officer,
not many people were
willing to go near her.

Two of the most determined
were Dr. Nicole Chais and
Arlene Verdereau, RN.

It helped that Nicole spoke Cajun
while Arlene knew Louisiana Creole,
because the boat may have been Haitian
but Saraphina apparently was not, and
she found the sound of French comforting.

"Tout bagay anfom?" Arlene asked
as Nicole finished the examination.
Is everything all right?

"As well as can be expected, after
all the time she spent in that boat.
At least she's not dehydrated now,"
Nicole replied, rewrapping
Saraphina's blanket.
"Pauve ti bete."
Poor little thing.

Arlene took the baby back.
Saraphina's small black fist closed
around the lighter chocolate of her finger.
Arlene rocked her gently.

"Fais do do, mon bébé,"
the nurse sang.
Go to sleep, my baby.

"Any news from SPOON?"
Nicole asked. "They were
supposed to contact their fosters."

"I heard that they found
someone to take her,
after she gets released,"
Arlene said.

"Ça c'est bon,"
Nicole said.
That's good.

A barely-there ripple
went through the room
as Saraphina's power groped
for the familiar presence of Arlene.

"It looks like she's latching onto you,"
Nicole said as she watched.
"Are you sorry for volunteering?"

"Je ne regrette rien," Arlene said,
smiling down at the toddler.
I regret nothing.

* * *

Notes:

Arlene Verdereau, RN -- She has medium brown skin, brown eyes, and straightened black hair that she usually pulls into a ponytail. She speaks English and Louisiana Creole (Kreyol Lwizien). She works at Saint Henriette Delille Hospital in Easy City.
Uniform: Fuchsia scrubs. St. Henriette's uses fuchsia for the nurses' uniforms.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Childcare, Expert (+4) Constitution, Expert (+4) Registered Nurse, Good (+2) Bayou Skills, Good (+2) Connection with Saraphina Dreux, Good (+2) Cook, Good (+2) Courage, Good (+2) Gumbo Ya-Ya, Good (+2) Singer
Poor (-2) Brokeass Broke

Dr. Nicole Chais -- She has wavy brown hair, brown eyes, and pinkish-fair skin. She speaks English and Cajun.
Uniform: Pink scrubs. St. Henriette's uses pink for the doctors' uniforms.
Qualities: Master (+6) Pediatrician, Master (+6) Dexterity, Master (+6) Memory, Expert (+4) Fastidious, Expert (+4) Quilting Bee Member, Good (+2) Hunter, Good (+2) Politicking, Good (+2) Tolerance, Good (+2) Wealth
Poor (-2) Imposter Syndrome

* * *

Louisiana Creole French is descended from continental French with additions from African and Native American sources, spoken by the Creole people. Here are some notes on grammar.

The Cajun language derives primarily from French with additions from Native American, African, and English sources. It is spoken by the Cajun people.

Creole and Cajun cultures may overlap but are not identical. Creole has more contributions from people of color, while Cajun is more French. You can think of Easy City linguistics and ethnography as a Venn diagram ... made by throwing paint at a wall, while drunk. It's chaotic, but full of charm.

Saints of New Orleans -- St. Henriette Delille
Her symbol is two whole chain links held by a third broken link, symbolizing freedom. She was a free woman of color, doing most of her work among cast-off slaves and Native American people. She was rumored to be a healer as well as a teacher, and some people consider her the patron saint of people with superpowers. (In Terramagne, Henriette Delille is already a saint; in our world, she still has a way to go.)

Saint Henriette Delille Hospital is a facility in Easy City, usually shortened to St. Henriette's. It has the best resources for taking care of people with superpowers, although there are no hospitals that specialize just in that -- places like this are as close as it comes. The administrative staff wear white, doctors pink, nurses fuchsia, and other medical staff burgundy. Custodians and other support staff have brown uniforms.

Tout bagay anfom?
Is everything OK?
-- Creole French-English Phrase Dictionary

Pauve ti bete.
Pove tee bet -- Poor little thing.
-- Louisiana French Phrases

"Fais Dodo" is listed as a Haitian Creole song, and the term fais do-do means a dance party, named after the lullaby.

"Fais do do, mon bébé"
"Go to sleep, my baby"
-- Fais Do Do

Ça c'est bon.
Sa say bohn -- That's good.
-- Louisiana French Phrases

Je ne regrette rien.
I regret nothing.
-- from a French song title

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, linguistics, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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