Articles by Donovan Baldwin
Literature & FictionFiction, poetry, and literature

I've unearthed a lot of my older poetry...that's what happens when you clean out your shed...and came across this one. I put 1968 on it, because that's when it happened, but I think I actually wrote the poem years later.

Anyway, Charlie Adotta and I were stationed in Germany. We were linguists. Charlie spoke Russian, and I spoke German. One night, we were hanging out in downtown Bad Aibling, listening to Tony play the accordion when these two Frenchmen sat down....

Language Lesson

It was a small German tavern,
And, despite it being 1968,
It would have been
A perfect setting for
A World War II movie.

Charlie and I sat,
Wrapped in smoke, voices, and music.
The music was provided by
An enthusiastic Tyrolean accordionist
Named Tony.

We were talking with two Frenchmen,
Neither of whom spoke English...or German.

Charlie spoke Russian,
I spoke German,
Neither of US spoke French.

The Frenchmen could only "talk" to each other,
And Charlie and I could only "talk" to each other.

So, of course,
We spent the evening in an animated,
Four-way conversation.

Some of the things we talked about:

-They were from Lyons, visiting Germany
-We were American soldiers stationed in Germany
-They wanted to go home and wanted to go to America
-We wanted to go home and wanted to visit France
-They wished us luck in Viet Nam although they thought it a bad war
-We wanted the war successfully finished, although it was a bad war
-They invited us to visit them in Lyons
-We invited them to visit us in California and Florida

I've never seen Lyons, but
From their description,
It must be beautiful.

It sounded the way my home would sound...
In French.

1968 By Donovan Baldwin

About The Author

Donovan Baldwin is a Dallas area poet and author of many articles published online. A University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting, he is a past member of Mensa and has held several managerial positions. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in internet marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. He blogs on senior health and fitness at



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Donovan Baldwin
Fort Worth, Texas

Original poetry by Donovan Baldwin

Language Lesson - An Original Poem by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 1:19 PM Sunday 3 June 2018