Friday, February 25, 2011

The Dove

Marie-France’s feminine painting, “Poussez, poussez l'escarpolette." brought the idea for this poem to life. Suffused in soft pastels and wistful motion, the lady translates to a figment of memory, a younger self.

As the scene opens, the present woman is aged, drifting in and out of dementia. Occasionally, like a dove, she returns to that phase of her life which had tremendous impact. She steps toward the window, picks on the drapery cord nervously and then looks down at the wooden sill. It becomes her garden swing where she found solace and escape. Married to a great magician, she often found herself trying to forget his influence. Yet, while her body relaxed on the swing, her mind/soul was still flung into his grip.

She saw herself as the white dove he used for magic. Fragile and vulnerable, he used her to perform his art, to magnify his greatness. Yet, despite the soft sounds and hints of timidity, such a bird is reputed to possess, she was clever and knew the power of her own femininity. Though, he could make the bird appear and disappear at will, summon her service and dismiss it when through, she had more control, self-determination, the real power.

As wife and wise thinker, she could decide when she would leave and taunt him with threats of departure, hold him with a false sense of security and keep the man wondering. In the end, she would choose what season
and what time was conducive to a final flight.

The Dove

When the room is veiled
by afternoon's light
and age seems to fade
from its wood and silver,

she returns -- occasionally
remembering she has been
the wife and partner
of a great man.

Fingernails peck
at the drapery cord
while eyes land
On the window sill

narrow as the swing
she used to ride
in the garden wearing
a white gown and blossoms.

Her body oscillated
between the pines and vast sky,

her soul flung
into the magician’s hands
that made the fragile bird
appear then disappear –

only, she decided
which of her partings
would be real

or like flowers blooming
too early in the March fog–
a moment’s illusion,
a Spring time ploy.
More of Marie-France Riviere's beautiful artwork ( all collections) can be viewed here, at her on-line gallery --

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