The Minstrel

She once had a garden of flowers far
off in the woodland meadow;
for as the myth of the wildflower goes,
the sunset with its fading rays
puts its head in her lap.

_______________

The minstrel would direct the choir and singing
the next day for communion, then head out with Wen
for the open countryside of Mission
and the longhouse ceremony.
She was looking forward to the opportunity
in this journey of her soul,
which someone had once deemed clarity,
in which she would tie herself to the church
unlike the monastic of old, with a vow of poverty
and enclosure. Wen was a man of character,
wearing the quiet generosity of Saint Wenceslas.

_________________

The self-control of black velvet,
centered as a choir
with the accompaniment of strings,
the hollowed mouths, surrounding the note
like small pools of wax. Then rest.
She walked and sang, and the footprints
from her leather boots left an imprint behind her.
The song was threnody,
bittersweet watch over the night:
like a nightingale’s tone,
hung over the branches
and the vestiges of time.
She sat beside the monastery wall
at Westminster Abbey, and composed in her usual way,
refusing to war with moths for the light.

Emily Isaacson c. 2015 Tate Publishing.

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