She had never passed through the dark night of
clichés, nor wept in the valley of same,
but she’d had her share of pain, so to feel
grief dissolve in his warm embrace was sweet
payback for all the years of do’s and don’ts
she’d obeyed. Now, holding him close in sleep,
caressing his silver beard, un-furrowed
brow, tracing his shoulder framed in the moon-
strewn window, she knew unforced peace at last.
He snored, and she giggled when he did that.
Here was the first man to claim I Love You,
in upper case, and more than all of her
unrealized sonnets – pure doggerel,
she knew – she’d care for him in body, soul
and name until they both would snore no more.
He that talketh what he knoweth
will also talk what he knoweth not.
— Sir Francis Bacon
The critic with the itty bitty soul
patch at the outsider art opening –
Henry Darger: Overlooked Genius
(fiddlesticks!) spake clichés
in the main, quips he said Dr. Johnson
once said, embellishing his discourse
with the odd Latin phrase, to wit,
Ars est celare artem. I Googled it
at home, chomping Cheese Doodles,
brushing crumbs from my keyboard.
Why didn’t he just say it plain? True art
is to conceal art. (Would that they had.)
© Jacqueline Michaud
Jacqueline Michaud’s poems have appeared in many journals, including The Florida Review, US1 Worksheets, American Letters and Commentary, and the online literary journal, Per Contra. Her work is featured in the anthology, Breath of Lips Parted: Voices from the Robert Frost Place. A member of the American Literary Translators Association, she has had her translations of Francophone poets included in Per Contra, CELAAN: Review of the Center for the Studies of the Literatures and Arts of North Africa, and Poems for the Millennium: University of California Book of North African Literature. Michaud has published two collections of poetry, The Waking Hours: Poems & Translations (2007) and White Clouds (2009). Of White Clouds, the late Daniel Hoffman wrote: “Her lines give us the pleasures of their accuracies of perception and of speech, and will thrive on being re-read.” Michaud lives with her husband in Kensington, Maryland.