Midsummer (The Reeling)

He awoke, smothered in sweat

Dead of night, some sticky clime

a night tethered in malignant threats.

Poison dripping from every vine.

The warrior breathes deep

the air is sickly sweet

He turns to and fro

Looking for a place to go.

His last memory is of a shattered ship

tossed against distant shores

Drinking mead before the battered trip

That left him stranded and sore.

He makes it to a riverbank, the sun at its peak.

The river churning up a burning heat

The warrior abandons his iron plates and heavy coat

Praying that Odin will lead him back to the boat.

Suddenly, a light voice streams in on the breeze

A flowered scent, umber eyes like none across the seven seas.

A maiden, skin like burnished copper gleaming.

Stood washing at the riverbank, sending him reeling.

She heard him fall

the thick splat he made in the clay, dispersing aerosol

She’d never seen a man so pale,large, or tall

Perhaps he was a god, incarnated into this cacao-haired doll.

She stood over him as he opened his eyes. She tried to greet him

But he remained mute, immobile, dim.

The maiden spattered sounds. They were the bubbling froth of an ale.

The warrior stared. The pucker of her raspberry lips was more beautiful than Freya’s

She tried again, to greet him. She sat on his mountainous chest.

His hair was in tresses, strange insignias covered his breast.

He wanted to reply in her voluptuous tongue

But all he could think of was the sun shining from her eyes.

Her hair was a sheet of pure obsidian, her oval face was young

zephyr on the wings of a butterfly.

She took him by the hand, fearless of this Nordic giant.

He followed her, eyes wide–compliant.

He didn’t speak, lest this copper skinned girl ever know

That he would cut down Yggdrasil to simply hear her say “Hello”.

(Is go Oíche Fhéil Eoin,

Ní thiocfaidh mé aniar)

For Issa


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