Licton Springs Review

Maiden on FireBy Patricia Herlevi

(Troubadour Song for Jeanne D’Arc)

I once walked in your skin,
replacing my maiden’s frock
with a suit of armor.
I once saw through your eyes.
I heard the angels speak to me
the way they spoke with you.
I felt your heart beating in my chest.

She never tasted a husband’s kiss.
She never traded chain mail for white silk lace.
She never felt the love of children in the night,
crawling under her quilt, protection of Jeanne’s might.

She never saw the strawberry fields again,
Where it began, a twisted fate that refused to wait,
Always racing forward towards its death.
She never enjoyed the country she liberated
sharing a cell with rats, dying at inquisitors’ hands.
A pretender to the throne betrayed her trust.
Weak men do exist, they do exist.

And if she had been permitted to grow old
on the fat and honey of the earth,
If she had been allowed to raise consciousness
of peasant minds, what would have transpired?

I once walked in her shoes.
I once saw the same sky raining down on you.
I felt the same hunger, passion and desire.
I walked in her skin, saw the world through her eyes-I
was dazzled, stunned and amazed
at the visions, prophesies that I saw.
It all came to being, manifested, unforgotten.

But she was not made for this earth’s soil,
She was not born to labor and toil,
but a virginal sacrifice born to feed hungry flames
a young life up in smoke, heavenward.

For those who do not know,
she wasn’t born to bear fruit,
and not all fruit makes it to harvest.
Not all fruit ripens on this barren earth.