I found a still secluded place. My creance,
an armchair not of fluff and cloth, but hard,
a rock in shade of tree from lightening marred.
Obscured from notice, no one to convince,
I relished fare of pies and juicy quince.
Apart from family woe I watched the yard
with light fists thrown in bluff and swords en guard.
Jocund Slavs fell and lively Poles did wince.
Then him. When I was just a simple girl,
he smiled and took my virtue to the dance.
He was not blood but his was servant to
my side and I too pure for such a twirl.
In awe I watched as he applied the lance
to end our playful brawl. My kin he slew.
Behind the rock I placed my countenance
and watched the red run from their wounds unbound.
His quick and steady hand, not soft, but gowned
in iron gloves ‘round his blade. Benevolence
not near, just gore for trial’s evidence
that need not wait for judge to come around.
It was the chaste he conquered who was bound
to serve her vengeance with extravagance.
The meek one he once took as youthful prize,
he did not know my skill or hardened heart.
I stood upon the rock behind his hate.
He would not find my shadow in his eyes.
My arms were strong. My well honed blade the part
to cleave his neck and roll his head in fate.
But now we dance this day each year steadfast,
not in remembrance of loved ones slain
but cherished. Praise and honor will not wane
as years do pass. Their sweet memory will last.
Juicy quince and pies with berries red toast
the young and not the lost from that campaign.
We shape new joys and mirthful lives that reign.
A sovereign, gentle yet unyielding, cast.
I will lead this band of family true
to lands of rolling hills and fields rich
to bake our daily bread. Where blessings fall
and giving thanks cascade from mouths that strew
good words and deeds through every little niche,
wrapping our souls in the Creator’s shawl.
At Wednesday Afternoon Writers this week we used Bonnie Neubauer’s Story Spinner. We all used the same setting: a family reunion. We could also use the starting phrase: Ever since I was a little… Each writer had a spin to get his or her own words. Some writers tried to use all the words. Others used none. I began with three. But only one –armchair- made the final cut.
I decided to challenge myself to write a sonnet about my family and what a reunion might look like back in the time of yore. When ever that was. As I wrote I realized the story could not be told in just one sonnet, so I added a second and then a third. These might work nicely as an audition piece.