Joan chainsmokes cheap cigarettes at
The end of every battle; the Back Alley
Champ, can’t be defeated and they tell
Her she could be big in the ring, but she
Just takes a long drag and lights another
Cigarette before the old one’s burned
Down; a bad habit or maybe the feeling
She’s supposed to have lungs like ash.
She feels like fire, bright and hot and
Such an unyielding force. Or maybe
She feels like she’s on fire, never stops
Burning no matter how loud the screaming
Gets, and the crowds around her just watch
Like they don’t even hear it, but she screams
So loudly she can’t hear anything else.
Holy, they called her then, a righteous
Soldier of God; crazy, they call her now
Liar, fool, freak, taunting and jeering in
History book pages, always turning on
Her, only she lead an army when she was
Fourteen and burned for her faith at sixteen
But they never once call her Child.
The angels left her on that pyre but she
Never once turned her back on them;
She hasn’t stopped fighting since that
Day in the field when They came to her,
And her knuckles are bruised and bloody
And burned and she fights beside sinners
And the damned now instead of kings and
Knights, but it doesn’t matter; this is still a
Battle ground, this is still her Holy War.
Saint Joan of the Back Alleys | kmp