Sunlight paints the adobe wall
brighter than usual, gold foil .
with no shadows. Just a space
inviting its departed subjects
to come back.
There's movement in the bushes.
A quail slides his head
under a hemline of leaves
pecking at thorns
scattered by someone.
Most likely the girl who stepped
out of that sanctified pose
in the mural -- needing to stretch her legs
and nurse her son in secret.
.She wore no veil. A pale tumbling
of hair draped her shoulder, slightly finer
than cornsilk. Beneath her gown
there had been birdsong, but no bird.
A plaintive echo
crying for its soul to return, to rediscover
her roses and a crown. _________________________________________________________
The Medieval painting is called “Madonna of The Quail” by Itallian artist, Pisanello.