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Tuesday, December 5, 2006


The young woman looked up from the crop field she tended.
In the distance, a roan stallion trotted where the horizon ended.
From its back she glimpsed a grim hunched over shadow there.
Swaying unsteadily, this roan's burden, she saw with wary stare,
Guided the stallion down the hillside towards her furrowed land.
She looked fearfully back at the little girl with straw doll in hand,
Playing near a small pool of muddy water, their dog at her side.
Sniffing the air, the great black streaked cur ran with easy glide,
Low to the ground, past his mistress, pausing near the roan horse.
Tilting his shaggy head, he turned to squire the stranger's course,
Down towards where his mistress stood with ax in hand to greet,
What she had no doubt would be more ill misery for her to meet.
Her man, dead now these many months, she waited for their fate,
To find them in this vicious land, she and her daughter only bait,
For whatever new scourge would roll down towards her tiny lair.
She shivered as she felt her little girl clutch her leg in Fall's air.
The stallion stopped before her, as the dog nudged the little girl,
Provoking a giggle, which stirred the mounted Warrior to uncurl,
To look at the trio blearily from his swaying perch without guile.
His blood flecked sun burnt face crinkled into a weary wry smile,
As the little girl hugged the huge panting cur, innocently unaware,
Not feeling the strain pulsing within her ax wielding Mother fair,
Watching the chain-mailed giant slide slowly from his still mount.
His slate gray eyes scoured the small farm for any enemy to count,
Returning finally to the wary shivering woman, gripping her ax,
Well aware of what fate in this hostile land drew in way of a tax,
On a woman alone with child, their lives cast up in any ill breeze,
Blowing down from the hoary North, with warring tribes to seize,
The unprotected before them, to pillage all within their evil sight.
An arm, with writhing tendons, reached out from this dread blight,
To proffer a small gold coin in the scarred bloody Warrior's palm.
'I mean you no harm,' he said through cracked lips, seeking calm,
'Only a bit of water and food do I crave,' his deep voice droned.
She searched beyond him for a moment, where wind now moaned,
Down off of the hill, where she imagined his grisly horde now hid,
'Where be your men Sir?' She, in wavering feather soft voice bid.
'Both my enemies and friends lie together on battlefields now cold,
Across wastelands where since my youth I thought wars made bold,
All who trekked the Warrior path with bloody blade and steel nerve,
Could journey on to Valhalla, if first the War God they would serve.
Those visions be dust now lass, like the army at my back you seek,
I be alone, with need of provisions, rather than to maim the meek.'
She put down her ax, refusing his payment, beckoning him to come.
The little girl nestled in his gentle grasp, later, by the fire with rum,
And the dog dozing at his feet, the Warrior told of mystical places,
Of exotic women and kings, of golden thrones, and chariot races,
Until only the woman sat quietly awake, looking deep into his eyes,
'We need someone Sir,' she admitted, no need now for hidden lies.
'I have not much to offer one who has witnessed so much in his life,
But my daughter and I will be dead before long in this place of strife.'
The Warrior leaned forth to cover her hand with his, hope in his face.
'I never sold my sword ever for such wondrous reward as this place.
Take my oath I will never leave you and the little one until I am dead.'
Nodding, the woman gently stroked his face, 'then come Sir to my bed.'


Jordan Summers said...

Is this a story or poetry? Because it kind of reads like the latter to me. :)

BernardL said...

Sorry, Jordan, I didn't notice you had commented on Warrior. I was always a fan of heroic epic poetry. I did Warrior in story form with rhyme to add a more intense aspect to it. I hope you liked it. Thanks for the comment.