‘One Vegetable and Silence’ by Marie Louise St. Onge

Picking up on Tony Sampas’s documentary photographs of Cote’s Market on Salem Street, here’s an excerpt from a poem by Marie Louise St. Onge that was published in the book “French Class: French Canadian-American Writings on Identity, Culture, and Place” (Loom Press, 1999).—PM


from One Vegetable and Silence

for Marc


Our favorite sledding hill was just opposite the ledge,

a short walk from our home. The Transfiguration

Orthodox Church sat square at the top—yellow and bedazzling

like a giant sunbeam. If we cut between the two big blocks

at the bottom of the hill, where the Marcouillier and Toupin kids lived,

we could get to Cote’s Market on Salem St. fast

before the baked beans and tourtiere sold out on Saturdays.

. . . .


—Marie Louise St. Onge (c) 1999