…found tucked in a poetry book from the university library:

Lesson Plan 6th Period 3/19/97

Resource Review–presentation

Joan of arc poem

What I used it for

reinforcement of Joan’s death


poem looks at
“smoke does not finish anything”

very feminist

lots of student like it, some hated it, some kept it, some threw it out

The poem you ask (I know you want to know) is by Cathy Ford and comes from Saffron, Rose & Flame: the joan of arc poems.

this morning
in the shade

the eye of the heart
sees itself

oil sulphur & charcoal
cry out for water

the hands are bound
the heart embraces its cross
pulsed like an artery
in a handful of dust

silence has been stunned by the heat
nothing is a quiet as ash
as it is white
as it is to be raked aside

everything exposed

the sun that can’t be seen
sends light sends shadow
reading nothing in the sky but conviction,
meaningless wild birds

bank breaking across the sky
an epiphany of translation
crows impossible to understand

yet the ordinary is remarkable. Acceptance.
A young woman who doesn’t want to die

is screaming, screaming.
No one else will hear. Crying.
If only the immaculate could be
the conception, the reason, then

there is fire

there is water

there is a lot of time

smoke does not finish