~*~Shieldmaiden~*~


"War is the province of men?"
We shall see.
I have much to live for?
To sit at home combing my locks,
mending hose, shepherding infants,
planning menus, gazing eastward
when my palm itches
to grip my bright sword?
To rule in ruins I've no wish.
Yet something tells me
there is a deed marked for me alone.
Perhaps we've each a mission
that was stamped with our name
ere the date of our making,
however we would let it pass from us,
and engrave it with another
and sit at home gazing
from an eastern window. We may each,
however tender and questioning
be the link between life as we know it
and the end of all singing. And so
we heed the dark clarion
and if it also sound our doom,
so be it. Who are we
to dismiss that trumpet, even
though it call through horse-shrieks,
ripping flesh, thunder-drums,
iron wheels, shattered ramparts-
or brotherly disdain?
Who can say that my small blade
be not destined to smite the bond
that holds this land in thrall?
Who knows what lofty tapestries
may be woven from the nettles
of stinging chaos? We each,
man or woman, great or tiny,
own the key that opens
one cage or many, releasing the future
even if it means that we ourselves
become the past, names sung only
in the ballads of the forgetful free.
We will listen, leaning
on the parapets
of the heroes' halls
and smile at one another saying:
Indeed, that bard has a fine voice
and makes his mother proud........

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