Balder Dies

Balder, momma’s boy bad dreams
death, blonde soul sky‑crashing
among bent boughs of spring pines.
Broken Balder mud‑soaked on wet
earth.  “Go mamma Frigg, beg all
that walk, and crawl, everything
that wriggles, flies or swims, ask
even stones and trees, cold earth‑
born iron, silver, gold ‑‑
spare your warm‑breeze son, fair
gods’ darling.”  Frigg hammers
doors, calls in all her debts.
Granite and oak agree, obsidian, ash
and flint, dragons, dwarves and manta
rays sign on the dotted line.  She
washes Balder’s face, blows his nose
and pins the promise to his green
cape where it ruffles, lacey
in gentle spring wind.  Rocks bounce
off his chest soft as popcorn, arrows
flatten, clubs, axes, spears float
against him like tissue paper planes,
great fun for gods, endless Asgaard
picnic hurling harmless missiles
at smiling, golden boy.
Badblood Loki feels his stomach
clench, legs and hands sweat
and wriggle.  Old woman Loki twists
the tale from Frigg: only little
mistletoe, too young to count, failed
to promise, deadly accident ignored.
Loki small barbs Balder’s blind
brother, guides his hand
right through the almost invulnerable
heart.  In dirt Balder
drops, vomiting blood.  Loki calls
to stone‑faced, death‑observing gods:
“Have you forgotten every day
is Judgement Day?” and vanishes
like wolf’s breath in the gathering mists.

[Steve Klepetar’s work has received several nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Flutter Press has recently published two chapbooks: My Father Teaches Me a Magic Word and My Father Had Another Eye.]

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