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November 10, 2017 | Poetry

Jacques’s Garden

Anna Kelley

Jacques’s Garden photo

Et vint cette voix, environ l’heure de midi, au temps de l’été, dans le jardin de mon père.
      
                                                                                                               Joan of Arc, 1431

I like believing that long after her body
was drawn to ash and scattered, the garden
where Joan first heard her voices bloomed,
the parsley lush, the celery putting out leaves,
the blue stalks of leeks growing curled and long
as uncut nails. And I like believing that Jacques
went there to sit when the grief stormed into him,
to bury his shaking hands in marjoram and rue.
And what is essential for me to believe is that
the plants themselves were changed by Joan,
that bathing with her in the light and fragrance
of her saints was conducive to their sweetness,
and that after eating a pot of cold sage soup,
her brothers dreamed that Joan stood before them
with her back to the sun and her arms full not
of any kind of weapon, but fresh-picked onions.

image: Aaron Burch


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