Licked Clean By Cattle

Buglosecows - Copy

Here’s a poem I wrote about a legend I saw depicted in a stained glass window in the church in Buglose, France:


The Legend of Our Lady of Buglose


In the upper half of the stained glass window,

ten farmers, housewives, and a curate,

with their 1620 clothes,

look at each other

and look down

into a large hole.

One farmer leans on his hoe with his right arm,

points with his left hand.


He points to the bottom half of the window:

golden brown rich earth hovers

and falls away

from what it has contained:

large painted statue

of the Mother and Child,

crowned and throned,

stolid as Chartres.


In the lowest left corner of the window,

large horned ox, golden brown,

crouches in profile.

His tongue licks earth from the Mother’s arm.


The tour guide tells us that

a farmer, in 1620, alerted

by the strange attitude of his beasts,

discovered them digging up the statue.


It seems that she’d been buried

in 1520,

during the Wars of Religion.

The villagers didn’t want

to give her up to destruction.


Container within a container

within a container,

licked clean by cattle.

Licked clean by cattle.





<a href=””>Legend</a&gt;

Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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