Madeleine in the Bois d’Amour
(Émile Bernard, 1892)
by Theodora Goss
The girl is picking a flower
from the pink tree.
Her hat is lying on the grass
because it is springtime —
the sun is shining, the forest behind her
is golden with promise.
And her friend in the foreground,
named no doubt something like Isabelle
or Yvette, is wearing a crown
of delicate white flowers. She is already
a queen of the spring, as Madeleine
will be. In her pink dress, with her hair
falling in a golden stream.
This is a dream of love and timelessness,
the two girls existing in an eternity
of afternoon. Someday, perhaps,
they will be married and have children,
responsibilities, dishes to wash.
But not now, or now, or now.
Here, now, it is always spring in Brittany.
The river in the background is flowing
between green hills,
and the white blossoms are floating
above the branches of the pink tree
(The image is Madeleine au Bois d’Amour by Émile Bernard.)