Daughter of Joan Of Arc
DAUGHTER OF JOAN OF ARC
“Joan, Joan! “ They said. They took me away at force and burnt my flesh at stake. My ashes billowed then blended into the tar of the sky.
I left a daughter behind. A secret child, I bore at fifteen to a soldier. Oh my heart was so tender; tender with love for my pink baby. She had eyelashes so long that a spider would have weaved them into gossamers, her scarlet hair swirled into curls so fine that in which Dante’s hell would have been burnt ashen. But I was only a child myself. Not an ordinary kind either. I had visions; the grand ones. I had to lead the French Army to the victory. They didn’t take me seriously at first; the men! The men of rotten minds; the men of so- called grandeur. I proved my worth and led my army to the victory with King Charles’ blessings.
Alas it was not to be, I was captured by Burgendians and put on trial for Heresy; my divine visions questioned and belittled that is what hurt me the most, you understand. They said I was a witch and burnt me on the stake. This is what they did do humans of visions in my days. First they dehumanised us then burnt us alive as though we were made of wood not flesh and blood. Oh the pain! The pain of being burnt alive! The pain carved my soul out my body with a torpedo, you understand!
As I mentioned before, I left a daughter behind; her name is Esther. This is the first time I get to tell her story. My little Esther. I cuddled her after she was born; filled my lungs with her newborn scent. Every mother knows that scent; the milk and love mixture ; heaven-scent. Oh I cried; I cried until there were no more tears left in my childish eyes. I bundled her up in crimson silk and gave her away to my milk nurse; she was the same lady who nursed me as well when I was a babe.
My Esther was taken away from me and secreted in dens; she flourished into a fine lady. I watched her you see from above the sky. Or what was left over from my spirit did to be precise. I blew some of my spirit into my little gal’s ear when it expired out of my body and some of it was extinguished anyhow with my body burnt on the stake. It billowed in a smoke that came out of my burnt body and became atoms in the sky; invisible yet indestructible. What remained intact of my spirit watched over every move of my babe; from the cradle to, well, this is where my story begins:
My little gal turned into a fine lass with a willowy silhouette and sea-weed gaze that stirred hurricanes.
She no longer lived in my time; my little Esther. A newly invented machine somehow transported into a different century; twenty first century to be exact. She didn’t wear long gowns or bonnets like the lasses did in my day but she wore long pantaloons just as I did when I was disguised as a boy soldier. Alas, this is where the similarities ended between us- the mother and daughter. My Esther was not a soldier nor was she a saint. (Although when they burnt me on the stake, they said I was a witch so that I myself was far removed from sainthood. Only later, I was ascended to sainthood, as you may recall!) How shall I put this, my Esther’s sweet perfume lingered on rascals, thespians and lords alike!
It pleased me to observe, though that she was a visionary just like I was a visionary. She had visions of silk and velvet, gold and ruby and rouge and Kohl. Good for her, I thought and why ever not. My Esther made me proud. My tongue was sharp as you may know, I defended my visions mercilessly in the courtroom. Those who tried to prove my insanity were cut to pieces by my didactic reasoning of my visions. All the same, they still burnt me at stakes.
My Esther, though had a dulcet tongue; a tongue which gyrated her gentlemen lovers’ hearts. She sang praises to men of grandeur until she dug gigantic holes in their pockets. It made me smile watching her singing ironic praises to these ale bellied men whose faces were more crimson than my love handkerchief; Esther’s soldier father bestowed me (I still carry this handkerchief wherever I go; it soaked my tears, my blood and my sorrows over the centuries like a sponge!)
“My love!” She would purse her ruby lips to an ale-bellied rascal, “cash I need in plenty for my tailor who spins the finest silk from China!”
The man would reach to his crocodile skin purse and pull out a bundle of fresh green bills and hand them over to my little Esther like sacrificial lambs. Esther would take the green bills and stuff them in her silk piece of clothing which was wrapped around her breasts; we didn’t have such items of clothing for our bosoms in my day. I can’t help but wondering as to the reason why our bosoms were very earthly because of the lack of this very item of clothing. Nevertheless, twenty century womenfolk seem to like this item of clothing, I believe they give it a special name; bra! My Esther had a whole closet full of bras; silk, lace, cotton in finest black and red; they complemented her pale skin, I heard her saying once.
Unlike my French kins, I wasn’t a woman who had much sense of fashion as you already know so that I have very little knowledge of which colour or which material of clothing complemented which kind of skin.
My Esther said she couldn’t live without her bras. They were some sort of aphrodisiac for men like showing our ankles were aphrodisiac for men in our bad old days.
At times, I was anxious for my little girl. What mother would not be anxious! She didn’t have what modern ladies called a career. I wanted her to have a career.
I blamed myself, you know for her lack of drive. If I hadn’t given her away, perhaps she would have inherited my soldier genes. I wondered at times, if my milk lady was a little loose herself. Where did my little Esther get her trade to throw herself into the arms of the old goat’s for some gold or a piece of silk?
Still, she was my little girl and she did make me proud. She did. She did. Her wit, her skills of tact and conversation, her style! Yet and yet, I desired nothing more than being able to descend down and shake her until she made something of herself. Alas, it was not to be. My spirit or what remained of my spirit could not obtain the permission from the divine order to do so.
Instead I watched her over and bit my tongue. Sometimes, I had my presence known to her in other ways; when she combed her hair, the shadow of my spirit climbed into the labyrinths of her mind using her long hair as a ladder. I made her think of her phantom mother so that she trembled.
On occasions, I even cast my shadow on the reflected glass so that when she gazed at herself adoringly; she was my flesh in the mirror. My cropped brown hair, my weary eyes filled with ancient sorrow, my soldier’s uniform of beige in place of her iridescent silk attire. In such occasions, I saw her eyes filling, her lower lip trembling. I withdrew my phantom reflection from the mirror.
What mother would want to see her babe crying! My milk maid had sworn on oath not to tell my little Esther about me. I wanted my Esther to know my milkmaid as her own mother. My heart would be shattered, if my Esther felt that she was abandoned by her own mother.
Still, she knew! My little Esther knew that the phantom shadow cast onto the reflective glass was my shadow. It was her mother’s shadow tracing her in the mirror so she wept and wept.
My Esther, they said (the ladies of her own years) was a witch. A modern day witch who put spell on men! My Esther didn’t live in a coven but was burnt on tongues. Oh the stench that came out of these tongues! The foul smell which made my spirit burn with rage. What mother would not be enraged upon hearing her daughter’s good name on rotten tongues! I wanted to descend down and rip those lasses into pieces; alas my spirit could never obtain the permission from the higher order to descend down. So I circled around my own eclipse until the rage was distilled out of me! Sometimes from the infant day until the pale of moon.
My Esther did have my spirit in her as I mentioned before, I blew it into her ears when my flesh expired. So what became of her, you might be wondering? Well, she met a prince, through some kind of modern pimp and became his princess. She now lives in a mansion and all her dogs are coiffed and her babes wear Gucci outfits. Still, she is burnt on tongues but it doesn’t hurt me anymore because she owns a clothes making workshop for ladies of grandeur. She is now what modern women call a career woman. My little Esther makes her mama proud.