The Morrigan

Long night lit
by blood moon,
dead silence split
by the harbinger cry
of a crow.

She comes, sword in hand,
eyes silvered with
rapier smile
curving her lips.

Phantom Queen.
Beauty cold and silent
as falling snow,
but shining with victory.

She says nothing;
simply holds out
her sword, blade already
well blooded.

My hands are trembling,
my eyes are swollen
with tears uncried.
I have spent this night
bound and staked,
keening my affliction
to air and water
fire and earth,
praying for comfort
and release.

She offers neither,
simply stands,
sword arm extended,
waiting, not patiently,
but waiting still,
her regard stern
and farsighted,
but not unkind.

And then a whisper,
both rough and delicate,
like the brush
of some dark wings:
What price justice?
What price knowledge?
What price power?
What price wisdom?

And so I rise
and take the sword
from her ever-steady hand.
I am heavy on my feet,
heavy in my heart,
but the hilt fits
palm and curled fingers.

She nods, and turns away,
moving with
ageless grace,
honed by battle dance
and armored in mystery.

And I think,
sometimes armed
is better
than comforted.

[Shoshana Edelberg is a journalist, writer and musician based in Atlanta, Georgia. She lives in a witch’s cottage near a lake, with her son, two cats and two rats. In her spare time, she studies the Finnish language, even though it hurts her brain, takes care of raptors at a wildlife rehab center and sings English and Appalachian murder ballads (the bloodier, the better.) Her current projects include a series of poems based on the stages of alchemical transformation.]

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