~*~Shieldmaiden II~*~

He loomed before me, a Thing
unbidden, undead, unseeable.
I breathed him
and he filled my lungs
as the smoke of perdition
and I knew. Choking, I gazed
into the channel of his lust
and beheld a vast funnel
which culminated in the pit
of utter nothingness
that awaited my cringing soul.
I saw my name crackle
on the spiraling stairs
amid the shrieks of lunatic love
that rode the boiling vortex
descending. I saw an Eye
that discerned my locked casements
and echoing stairwells.
I knew then what I could be
as my image writhed
in the flickering, jellied blackness
of its all-knowing pupil.
And even as I smote his ruin
in desperate abandon
I fell motionless
as one must
before such a likeness
each string that suspended me
from the light
severed entirely.

And even now,
as I lie in my bower
by the side of my lord and my babe
a domain of freshness surrounding,
a mantle of stars overspread;
even in our most joyous coupling
and sweetest afterglow,
from time to time I lift my eyes
and see the canopy of the Shadow
and hear the rising screech
in the stillness of the furtive hall
that lies even in the palace of blessedness
and taste the foulness I inhaled
so that you, my newborn, my jewel,
my princeling, my own, softest bloom
of my once withered heart
might breathe the tender air
and race down white slopes
that lead only to fields of delight
and gaze into dancing waters
where only the day's Eye
may show you what you might be.
I would do all again
if need be.
I am your shield yet.
He may haunt me still
but conquer, never
for I am no man
and he knows naught
of the true bastion
of motherhood.

(Original idea contributed by Farawyn)

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