What can Mademoiselle Hoschede see
As she looks down from the balcony
Of number twenty-three, Giverny?
Market traders passing along, one sings The Farmer’s Song.
Another lifts his hat towards the petite Mademoiselle Picardy before
engaging in a brief chat with the kindly Madame Baudy.
It’s today’s activity that takes place along the way from the black metal gates
Of number twenty-three, Giverny.
The sweet smell of lilac sweeps down the hill
Following on behind the street vendors…there is Mademoiselle Amelie
And her young friend Monsieur Lacoste, the watchmaker…. ah, a moment in time.
Gentlemen walk down the hill to La Maison de Madame Baudy
to converse with fellow painters.
Young men in brilliant tennis whites play
On the immaculate l’herbe verte overlooked by the hotel.
Young women of the village, sit at a table, sipping Pernod
Set back from the sleepy roadside
A majestic hen struts its way past a street vendor
And a painter
His palette awash with gleaming colours, awaits his moment.
Les nuages noirs shroud the village, taking away the sun, creating a view that only you,
Could recreate for another, far-away day.
Monet’s friends talk loudly as they pass by number twenty three, Giverny.
Confident, alert, as if these painters know that they are players in their own immortalisation.
Their creation, their inspiration, is infectious and Claude invites them to join him at the table overlooking the tennis court.
It begins to rain and so they walk briskly up the hill to the Master’s house for more conversation.
Walking speedily past the corner where stands Mademoiselle Hosched’s house
At number twenty three, Giverny.
As they reach Claude’s front door, there is heavier rain
Claude invites them in for champagne from the Chasselas grape.
Meanwhile, Mademoiselle Hosched reflects on life
From the balcony of
Number twenty three, Giverny.
She ponders her place in the era of elevated enlightenment,
For today, they are her neighbours;
Tomorrow…posthumous héros de l’art.
A new day, a new morning, the sky is creation blue,
Dimanche est arrivée…
The bells of Église Sainte-Radegonde – where one day the Monet family will take their final rest – strike through the morning to remind them of the Creator.
The church bell speaks out its toll.
The world mutters along.
While in the quiet moments, and behind the closed shutters
Of number twenty three, Giverny, Mademoiselle Hoschede ponders her life.
Along the pathway and up the steps à l’Église, the faithful sit in their unforgiving pews, acknowledging the One who controls the gentle pace of the seasons, the events of generations past, and the lure of centuries to come.
The old, rotting rafters of number twenty three Giverny watch its passers-by.
Mademoiselle Hoschede looks out from the balcony of number twenty three, and observes Madame Baudy as she closes her shutters for the Sabbath.
This is Giverny, painting its own future.