The Impresario (part eighteen)

Posted by ractrose on 3 Dec 2019 in Art, Poems

Oil painting of thin young woman praying under octagonal window



The Impresario

Part Eighteen


The vintner’s house still darkened

By a shade. And it, avenged or no—he sees it now

—will never loose its hold

A girl knocks begging for a room and offers gold

He has not spoken even to his servant

For many days

Yet seeing a daughter in her guileless eyes

Says, “No, my child, you have been ill-advised.

Put your purse away. I will send my own Marie…”

He falters, helpless murmurs, “…make appeal to the abbess.”

Regalus dares not look behind

Where Tortu holds her by the hand

But her angel keeps faith, rain finds its way

A deluge swamps the street, and by the hearth

A sudden drip, drip, drip falls splashing

“Tonight, perhaps,” he sighs, “you had best remain.”

“I have a friend. Will you be so good, monsieur,

As to make only a pallet on the floor?”

Pierre has gone to search for Boniface; the Dauphin for a word

Of the wax-man or Madame Poupée

And Regalus still, shamed to shrink, did cling to him

“No, trust in Pierre’s plan.” With a friendly scorn

Michel had touched his brow to hers.

“I was born this way, you know. I get along.

Now I leave you in the company of Tortu.”


And yet the plan…tonight she broods awake

Knots her beads into a Y to hold a promise

Was this the bed her love slept in, not long past?

Can he be well, or does he lie in agony,

Even as she thinks of him?

Afraid of all she dreams, Regalus ponders

A complexity…

“Who do you suppose Boniface hates,

for ransoming the seer into servitude?

The Kentishman is a creature of the Friar

A man who keeps his word, and pays his debts.

Thus of petitioners demands Gaspard no less.

(Pierre had laughed)

Allow that word to be

a hair’s breadth misintoned; allow that debt to fall

A denier short…the beggar may then dine

on his own liver. However—”

Regalus had stopped him with a brush of hands.

“Surely Boniface is not the man…?”

“Oh, yes. You grasp, for what it’s worth, my subtlety.

The place must be secured; none of our class may fill it.

But once secured, be sure the arms of Boniface

Will take the field to meet our man in combat.”




Oil painting of sun rising over river and vineyards

Part Nineteen














(2017, Stephanie Foster)




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