Week Twenty-Five: “Mathilde”

Mathilde was a fisherman’s daughter
Born with sand between her toes
and playing in the water
20 miles north of Port-au-Prince

Mathilde was a fool for men with muscles
Jean-Baptiste had caught her eye
in scrapes and alley tussles
and he moved on up to fighting local gents

She tended to his wounds and to his heart
He said this place is killing me
We need a better start
across the sea we’ll go as man and wife

His cousin worked a boxing gym in Boston
He promised her a ring and suddenly
she was tossed into
an altogether different kind of life

Your sorrow’s not a wedding veil
so take it off, Mathilde
The men you love will leave you
that’s a natural fact
This round is done but there are
many more to fight, Mathilde
And nothing lost is ever coming back
Nothing lost is ever coming back

He transformed like a werewolf once the vows were said
Staying out all hours
and would knock her in the head
when she dared to ask when his next fight would be

She prayed her little heart out for a guiding hand
She got it when he slammed
his diesel truck into a newsstand
his body full or coke and ecstasy

Your sorrow’s not a wedding veil
so take it off, Mathilde
The men you love will leave you
that’s a natural fact
This round is done but there are
many more to fight, Mathilde
And nothing lost is ever coming back
Nothing lost is ever coming back

She found a church of Catholic widows
and wears all white to Sunday
The sand between her toes is cold all year
And when the earthquake hit
all she could do is watch the TV
And wonder if the Lord was with her here
all along
And wonder if the Lord was with her here

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