Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Three Poems for George Rouault

June 17, 2021

Leslie Bustard


Rouault’s Christ and the Woman Saint


I could be that woman kneeling before Christ.

As he leans in, his eyes look for mine.

 I bend my head, unsure of his gaze. 

His hand offers me a quiet invitation.

Yes, this could be me. It could be Rachel weeping

or Mary sitting at Christ’s feet. 

Or it could be my daughter, my mother, or

my neighbor. Here is Jesus saying, “Come

to me for rest, all you who are weary.”

Sister, for you, too, he spreads out his hand.



Rouault’s Christ and the Children


These little ones dance

around Jesus—the ones he

just blessed; laughing and

singing, they are unaware

that it is their faith I need.

Rouault’s Christ and the Children


After Rouault’s Appearance on the Road to Emmaus

“[Rouault’s] angle is “angelic” — half way between heaven and earth.”

                                                Makoto Fujimura


Things into which angels long to look. . .


As when Cleopas, learning that Jesus was no longer in the tomb,

wondered and walked with a friend to Emmaus from Jerusalem;


and then they listened to a stranger speak surprising words concerning

the Christ; they wanted to hear more.


That day was bright and sharp—no longer dreary, but dreamlike—

as if the land were bursting into spring-life with its blues, and greens, and reds.


Each single blade of grass, each flower standing tall, each step on the path

was proclaiming a sweet new promise to those burning hearts.


For soon, at a table spread with bread and wine, the eyes of two travelers

would be opened, a stranger would be revealed, and a forever hope would be theirs.



The featured image titled Christ and the Fisherman by George Rouault.


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