Monday, April 30, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Previously published in Claiming The Spirit Within: A Sourcebook of Women's Poetry, ed. Marilyn Sewell, Beacon Press 1994

Painting by Jules Bastien-Lepage 1879

Jeanne d' Arc

The best thing
was when the voices told
her to dress like a boy,
and stepping out of

the homespun skirts, her long
hair in heaps on the floor,
she put on the armor and knew
it would protect her

from rough hands,
from then on becoming her
skin : silvery scales
hardened over her tenderest

places, and she would never have to
be tender again,
not even when the fire,
trying to consume her, curled

every cell black, sent them flying
up through the air, so many
butterflies she watched
circle away and come back

to enclose her again.
So be it, she said,
for eternity encrusted in angels
darkly whispering: Yes.


Helen Lowe said...

What a dark vision of Jeanne d' -- but a powerful and resonant one, too.

Michelle Elvy said...

A dark poem, yes, but that last YES holds a world of possibility, too. Like this very much.