Sand takes Chopin to Nohant
Defeated by Majorca, bored by Marseilles,
here they are on the second day of June
in the heart of the Berry, making their way
along roads lined by chestnut, willows wooing.
Servants are busy laying the oval table
with Porcelaine de Creil, opening doors to rooms –
the freshly hung Chinese red and blue of a chamber
(George has it in mind for Chopin) with its view
over the gardens and all of Berry beyond. A Pleyel
has been installed; he’ll have a library, solitude
in which to compose. Le Bois de Bellevue, Montgivray,
the deep, reedy Indre – they’re close, cutting through
the back country, watching for the fork at Thevet.
Her motherland, her terre, and where her nom de plume
must share with ‘Aurore’, who loves even the names
on the signposts – Sarzay, Chateâuroux, Jaunoux.
The lullaby rock of the carriage fails to quiet the waves
of longing rising in its passengers. I love you,
Chopin thinks simply but says instead, Terminée!
They descend. Doucement, doucement.
Children run, dogs wag tails, horses neigh.
George with the gardener – les rosiers, l’orange doux?
They dine late, doors open to the terrace,
swifts wheeling, turtle-doves too sleepy to coo.
C’est mon nid ici, thinks George, praying
as she lies awake, loving even the gutters,
that sound she’d forgotten as they fill with rain.