“Look not to me for healing! I am
a shieldmaiden and my hand is ungentle.“
– Eowyn of Rohan
So many looking for rescue; too many to ride in on white horses.
Born and bred with chivalry filling the pockets of my genes, I can
no longer pass out mission statements or definitions printed on these
When did we abandon the fire in the mead?
The furnace burning hot in our guts? We’ve watered down the message,
accepted and swallowed pale missives selling lack, hearts and hands
behind stoic backs. We’re all handkerchiefs and apologies, in waiting—
between texts, between mouths, between truths beneath niceties—
all banners without seeing flags.
No more will I walk the ramparts, chasing ghosts.
No more will I go seeking dragons as proof
of my strength.
The Lady I seek
is more than some high and vaunted goddess, more than some wilting flower
needing rescue. I’ve been to that kingdom. I’ve attempted those quests.
She is both earth and fire.
She is wind and water.
She holds her own
sword and shield.
She stands with the elements—
Feet planted in battle stance;
storm screaming in her hair;
eyes that sizzle both lover and foe, alike,
differing only by her word, which washes
the surface of her world in the waxing and waning
magick of her lunacy.
I will not need to protect this one from the wolves (though I would);
I will not lock the doors nor lower the gates (if I could)——-Only run
there, beside her—a blade, an urn, a seagoing vessel, grin of teeth
and claw—our legs churning fog before the sun can think to rise,
the trees and their leaves blurring past eyes,
the dogs nipping heels and hackles
too busy laughing
to question the worth or validity of their names.