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A four banal is a communal oven that was used in many small French villages to provide somewhere for the community to bake and cook, sharing the heat, and space needed. Now they are used when the village meets for social occasions. Bringing together everyone to keep the village together, to break bread and drink together

Four Banal

They started the fire three days ago,
slowly letting the heat rise so the bricks
will not crack after so long a time.
We buy the bread and wine, stand talking
in a foreign language, laughing and joking.
You smile at us, take us in to your life,
all the while wondering why we came,
and why we stay and try to talk.
But you welcome us anyway,
and laugh with us at our accent.
The fire warms the room
long into the night.

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