I rush through the eye-holes of Ymir’s skull,
the wind in my feathers singing runes to frost-bound Midgard.
Snow glints in sun like firelight on a dagger,
the high-necked mountains encircled with ice
brilliant as the necklace of the Brisings.
I stretch my wings sea-wide
and toss a hawk’s laugh into a sky blue as Odin’s one eye.
If ever spell has thawed your tongue, you know me.
I am the girdle of flames, and I am Gullveig, who stepped
three times from the pyre and lived as Heid, the gleaming one.
If ever battle-horn has summoned you, you know me.
You have felt my talons’ slash and on the day you’re slain
I’ll gather you to me in my falcon-clutch.
If ever love has made you weep gold tears, you know me,
as sure as lust has singed you with its flames
and pleasure made you writhe upon your bed.
I am the thrust of grass through hoar-frost’s rime.
I am the falcon’s eye that sees all hidden truths.
I am the hearth that warms through winter’s hoarding.
I am the catch in the throat, the cry that pierces night
as you come in your lover’s arms.
Though the skalds are silent and the eddas mostly ash,
I wing towards Ragnarok, Fenrir snapping at my tail feathers.
And when the gods die and the nine worlds burn,
I still will fly.
[Sandi Leibowitz is a native New Yorker who early in life fell in love with Apollo, Artemis and other beautiful deities and their tales and, unlike Orpheus, never looked back. Her fantasy fiction and poetry, mostly based myth and fairy-tales, has appeared or is forthcoming in Mythic Delirium, Goblin Market, Jabberwocky, Apex, Niteblade, Cricket and other magazines. She also sings classical, folk and early music, and performs with New York Revels.]