Noah and Joan

Its hard to imagine having more fun than this poem does. It reminds me of a friend who’d say “In my world….”  We knew that meant if she was in charge everything would be different!

Noah and Joan                                                                      Denise Duhamel

It’s not that I’m proud of the fact

that twenty percent of Americans believe

that Noah (of Noah’s Ark) was married

to Joan of Arc. It’s true. I’ll admit it—

Americans are pretty dumb and forgetful

when it comes to history. And they’re notorious

for interpreting the Bible to suit themselves.

You don’t have to tell me we can’t spell anymore—

Ark or Arc, it’s all the same to us.

 

But think about it, just a second, time line aside,

it’s not such an awful mistake. The real Noah’s Missus

was never even given a name. She was sort of milquetoasty,

a shadowy figure lugging sacks of oats up a plank.

I mean, Joan could have helped Noah build that ark

in her sensible slacks and hiking boots. She was good with swords

and, presumably, power tools. I think Noah and Joan

might have been a good match, visionaries

once mistaken for flood-obsessed and heretic.

 

Never mind France wasn’t France yet—

all the continents probably blended together,

one big mush. Those Bible days would have been

good for Joan, those early times when premonitions

were common, when animals popped up

out of nowhere, when people were getting cured

left and right. Instead of battles and prisons

and iron cages, Joan could have cruised

the Mediterranean, wherever the flood waters took that ark.

 

And Noah would have felt more like Dr. Doolittle,

a supportive Joan saying, “Let’s not waste any time!

Hand over those boat blueprints, honey!”

All that sawing and hammering would have helped

calm her nightmares of mean kings and crowns,

a nasty futuristic place called England.

She’d convince Noah to become vegetarian.

She’d live to be much older than nineteen, those parakeets

and antelope leaping about her like children.

 

definition of milquetoast: a timid, unassertive, spineless person, one who is easily dominated or intimidated. (After Caspar Milquetoast, a character in a comic strip, 1924 first use.) Frenchified milk toast!

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