Inspired by "Jeanne d’Arc" by Clément de Fauquembergue (May 10th, 1429).
The only known portrayal of Joan of Arc in her lifetime, although the artist had never seen her.
The image that remains of Joan, faded,
wearied with time, she is depicted with
long hair and a dress fitting for tea, not
a battle for her mother’s daisy’d land.
Sword too big for her slight girlish frame, clutched
blade reversed as if to say she would stab
the oncoming French army, banner held
faint in fragile fingers. They called her whore,
a village girl dressed as a boy, rattling
the English tambourine, the fantasist
who broke the siege of Orléans, yelling with
the madness of angels, not still faced, pursed
lipped, head bowed, but crystallised with a howl
from the frayed lungs that gripped benediction.
Grant Tarbard is the former editor of The Screech Owl and co-founder of Resurgant Press. He has worked as a journalist, a contributor to magazines, a reviewer, an interviewer, and a proof reader.