Update on Joan
Joan is beset by the recurrent burial of women
in grounds profane and consecrated.
Among her own people she is called…
Among others she is hag, scatterbrain, mistake.
If now amid crag and tundra, Joan would mull
the vapors of starry cassiope and smooth cliff fern.
Instead, a must of high swamp with its admirable
bolete, stream violet, green spleenwort.
Concerning her parents she is nostalgic.
Concerning another she is silent.
Joan would wish her arms and the arms
of her children to be fortunate.
On no day does Joan not comprehend
what is forbidden to her… a refusal of some
prohibitions. For instance, one must not consume
or traffic in lupine. Moved by conspicuous vice
Joan made confession and received the sacrament.
As well as she could you can see how she fared.
It is true that Joan wishes for a voice
to aid self-governance: though obedient
in many things we now find her color high
and too easily touched to the quick.
Joan did her best to conceal all intrigue
as she feared most your treacheries.
Joan has unlearned A from B. She knows little
of belief, less of being believed.
Held back from accomplishment,
Joan grows ill-content.
On a journey away she meets no hindrance
save a discontinuous thicket of alders
and anxieties before a semantic freedom
to be used fruitfully. She denies
that she has been failed. After all,
there is light all about.
The things Joan has done are not in despair but…
Language transforms Joan’s thoughts,
thought, apprehensible to the senses.
Tomorrow she will not go out.
Tonight let us let her.