The Impresario: an alphabet (part twenty-one)

 

Part Twenty-One

 

A sturdy yeoman parts the throng, striding through

Escort to a queenly, doll-like dame

Poupée’s grown son with wonder eyes

The wax-man’s pallor, Regalus

Kneels and cradles in her hand, madame’s

Surprised, she asks, “How do you, child?”

The lifted face beneath the cowl, surprises her as well

As though the girl could spy the distant sun

And stood at cliffside staring at such light

As blinds a man

Regalus says, “Pray do you forgive me.”

“Well, but it is done. And yet I think that thou hast never sinned.”

“I have. Said a wicked thing of you, from jealousy, inside my head.”

“Ah…I have not that gift, my dear. I see what is before me.

I mean that skill to judge the hidden heart.

Nor would I take upon me, more than is my lot

…for judgment is the Lord’s,

so I’ve been taught. Content thyself.”

Pierre is seen to cross the threshold

Regalus rises to her feet

And finds he will not meet her eye

She stays, and wary

Sees his shoulders heave as with a sigh

“I would rather,” he says, approaching

And with an alien austerity, “have the girl outside.”

But as Tortu draws her by the hand

And as she remonstrates with foolish tears that course

In silence down her cheeks, the iron-strapped door

Swings gouging out an arc, a letter C

This new arrival will not let them pass

But bows to her in mocking ceremony

“After all, she has some beauty.”

He says this, musing, a speech before his god, perhaps

Then deigns to cast his confidence on Regalus

“Aye, girl, I will deliver thee. To an unworthy suitor.”

 

Part Twenty-Two

 

(copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster)

 

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