2010 04 21
Blind woman in tattered brown dress
kneads dough and hums a sweet tune
then slips loaves in an oven to bake
and sits by window knitting a blanket
by narrow town lane where children play.
Little birds twitter on her window sill
and sweet smile beams from her lips
wrinkling her soft apple-red cheeks
when she scatters seeds from her hand
while children clash sticks in a play fight.
Blind woman of Gordes near Avignon
calls to children come eat fresh bread
so they gather around chattering loud
while she cuts slices and dips knife
to spread honey for each child to eat.
Little boy cries so blind woman kneels
caressing his face and wiping away tears
asking what happened to make you cry
and he sniffles boys snatched my bread
so she hugs him and caresses his hair.
Little boy touches deep scars on her eyes
asking what happened to your pretty face
so blind woman smiles but terrible fear
shadows deep sadness on her soft cheeks
but she beams again and kisses little boy.
When I was a young girl many years ago
not much older than you are now in life
my mother was hung for stealing bread
because my father died fighting in a war
and I was locked in a prison without care.
I shared a cell with two angry old women
who called me names and pinched in arms
and never allowed me to eat dry stale bread
or drink water so I became weak and scared
then jailer came in and gave me eggs to eat.
After he left those two bitter old women
beat me in jealousy then one held me down
while other woman raised a pair of scissors
and stabbed out my eyes with vicious hate
screaming in fierce rage as she hacked at me.
I clutched my face streaked with hot blood
lost in mindless eternity of terrible pain
and groped at cold stone walls in horror
and I cried out to God for some reason why
but they mocked me and laughed at my pain.
They were hung for stabbing out my eyes
then I was released and lead to this house
where I have lived many years alone in peace
planting herbs and vegetables in my garden
and listening to happy children like you play.
Little boy reaches up small trembling hand
and touches scars covering over her eyes
then kisses her eyes and takes her hands
and vows I will always take care of you
so whenever you need anything you call me.
My name is Reynard and I will always come
when you call so tell me what you want
and I will do it for you because I love you
then blind woman covers her pretty face
and cries though no tears flow on her cheeks.
Blind woman calls out every day at dawn
Reynard come and tell me what you see
and he stands by her window and describes
people and houses and clouds in blue sky
and animals and plants and wind in trees.
Blind woman never requests anything
rather she asks him to help people in need
please help Catherine stack firewood
and help Pierre hitch horse to his wagon
and help Elaine pull weeds in her garden.
Reynard always kisses her rose cheek
then performs deeds at her request
and brings her flowers and herb seeds
and sits beside her singing at sunset
then gives her water before she sleeps.
Reynard brings her baskets of chicken eggs
and rabbits he catches in forest by a lake
and pungent herbs he gathers in a meadow
and bushels of wheat for her to bake bread
and flowers that smell sweet after a rain.
Reynard finds blind woman of Gordes
shivering as cold wind blows in cracks
so he chops down pines on hill side
and cuts logs into planks smelling sweet
and arrives with wood loaded in a wagon.
Reynard builds sturdy walls and strong roof
into a cute cottage with a table and a bed
and a large kitchen with lots of low shelves
then leads blind woman through open door
explaining I painted flowers in bright colors.
Reynard falls in love with a pretty girl
so he brings Brigite to small white cottage
where old blind woman touches her face
then hugs him blessing his gentle bride
whispering may you have many children.
Reynard blushes and places a red tulip
in her hair while his bride bakes pecan pie
and Pierre plucks strings on a wood lute
and Catherine sings under a silver moon
as flames flicker gold light on their cheeks.
Blind woman of Gordes in a new dress
that Brigite sews from linen and cotton
cradles their newborn child in her heart
singing as her fingers caress his cheeks
and rocks back and forth in warm gold sun.
Our world is full of suffering and pain
so find love in darkest depth of your heart
to shine as sun kissing flowers and bees
to guide your way through chaos of life
for you create paradise with your hands.
Reynard arrives with basket of river fish
then pauses to listen to her sweet song
while Brigite brings bucket of fresh milk
and they kiss watching her in rocking chair
cradle their cute child in cool twilight glow.