A Reading from the Letter of Joan of Arc to the Adolescents

for Sunshine

God knows it isn't easy
being fourteen. Breasts alone
are strange enough; don't get me started
on the tinny chorus of expectations,
the fire in your dreams. It has taken me
more than a little time to get it
but trust me, when you feel your heart thrum
strong and sure in your chest you will know
what breasts are for. When the king plants
an iris in the swollen dark earth, when your mother
lays your armor to sleep deep in the ground,
you will see how your brave bright love
was never the wrong choice.

photograph by Charlotte Miceli


Katie said...

I LOVE it! This just hit the mark.

1984 said...

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.
you are a lovely voice <3 Clara

Cassandra Barney said...

I read it two different ways. One about Joan of Arc and one about what I want my daughter know, what I wish I could teach her.

This could be it's own book. I might need to do a painting but I'm afraid that I wouldn't do her justice.

I painted today. I'll send pictures by the end of the week.

Kate Horowitz said...

Cass- I think painting it would be the most daunting task in the world. A pencil drawing, maybe, though, could be something transcendent.

Katie- Thanks! Your blog has been a real inspiration lately, really makes me stop and think.

Clara- You know these words from you mean so much to me. <3 <3 <3.

Kate Horowitz said...

I just have to brag a little bit...I sent this poem to my professor, poet Karen Swenson, and she said she loved it. "Damn, that is good poetry," she said.


Elizabeth said...

She's right. And so is Clara. Every time I need to remember real beauty, I read your poems. It is usually enough.

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