Poetry

Free? Free.

Running, running through the rain,

Laughter on my lips as I slip and slide through the mud;

Blade in one hand, bow in the other. The chase intoxicating.

I laugh again as they run, run to me, to death herself.

I do not like to kill, I merely enjoy the chase. They used to find me.

But I would always leave, and this time, I won’t let them take me back.

Their shouts and snarls slip through the shhhhh of the rain. The beautiful pouring rain.

Heart pounding, soul bounding, I leap up a boulder to my abode,

My home; the trees. Darting from branch to branch, I dance.

I dance in the freedom and fun the chase brings.

Why did they keep me? I muse.

Footsteps sure and light – balanced on the slick branches under slivers of moonlight.

I shrug, it concerns me not, though I rather like what they taught. To shoot and fight,

To sneak through the night.

But to laugh and play was mine. Always mine. So serious they were.

All work, no fun. So I left to dance and play in the rain, hounds behind and knights ahead.

The hills beyond the trees called, begging me to dig my hands into their sides;

To feel grass – Beneath my padded feet. I longed to lay in their softness.

A shout from below – a cry of ‘HER’- silly boys, you taught me – you know –

Only he ever caught me. But he is gone, gone to her – his mistress – on business.

For nightmares he serves, and she is his queen, queen of his dark gloomy dreams.

I laugh again. Silly humans. I frown, no, that’s what she said.

Queen of the dead and dark. Though she was nice. I shrug.

Oh well. The hills called again and I ran once more.

Darting to the trees, humming like those soft bees.

Voices like honey, stingers like thorns.

The river could be heard, her laughter in the trees. The stupid girl

Would bow to me. Her head screwed wrong, her heart twisted.

She was malicious and vested,

In total destruction.

Of all in her path, venom in her honeyed words,

Ice through her veins; she held no remorse, just laughed

as we ran through the trees, following her course.

The girl would pay

For what was done this day. Two men dead,

By their own hand, for what she spun in hers.

Such power to a madwoman, was surely our curse.

I’d have killed her but he said we’d be far worse,

Than if she lived. Stupid boy.

Ohhh, the man is mad I thought, looking down from my treetop. I pouted.

So mean he was, so cruel to me. I did naught but obey, and yet, he grew colder by the day.

I wrinkled my face in disgust. I held hatred for only him.

I sighed, he was doing his job.

As now I must do mine! To escape! Yes! To run from the walls, to run from confining halls!

The rain was delicious on my face.

I watched and followed their race. Their race to the river.

The thought gave me shivers. I wished to bathe in the frigid waters. To swim amongst the creatures and critters. To dance beneath its surface.

I felt bad for the big man, he’ll surely get in trouble. But no matter, he will live, though his men may not survive.

Just like the others, he kills them, and tells the man I did it. Why would I? He is jealous.

They taught me chess, far better that he could’ve. So many games the soldiers played.

I decide to watch them scramble. None would ever guess to hide up high.

No. It is far too treacherous, for all but I. Me in a Tree.

I giggle.

An agonizing cry lets out. From the man below. He won’t ever know where to go.

That stupid girl! I hear her giggles and remember her name.

I will call it again and again.

She will respond, it is her sworn duty.

Not that she knows it.

The men call and I do to. But we hear nothing.

No crash through the brush, no cocky smile here.

Nothing, no one. As if she’s – disappeared.

I freeze as I hear my name. My body tingles. Shall I respond? No.

I grin, let them play their game. I feel so – amused? Yes, that is the word.

This is fun, but now I’m – bored?

Yes.

I am.

To the river I walk. Arms splayed like a child.

Balanced on my branch. I walk, then run, then dance, then charge.

Running is best.

The branch is slippery, and when I fall – I reach – reach far for the next one. My hand is already scarred – with callouses of weapons past.

The branch is easy, though the pain lingers; in my fingers – in my palm – the rain is a salve to my palm.

The river is in sight. A fright fills my chest; for the first time. Will I make it?

Yes.

A laugh bubbles. I hold it in.

I won’t let them win. This is my game no matter what she said.

I grip my tree looking, always looking, straight ahead.

The river is wide and running deep. My breath quickens, the river running fast.

Faster than me.

On the other side I see trees, but hills. Oh the hills. They call my soul, my heart.

They beg for my touch, my palms begin to ache.

Trees at the back of my mind – I dive.

Cold oh so deliciously cold. I feel strong and tall.

I feel bonds breaking, my soul shaking. How can this be? How can this river,

A cold bath of water, how can it ease the crushing in my chest?

No matter. I am free, and so is he – of me. Poor man, chained to the beast, its master.

But I am free. So weightlessly free. To dig my hands into the flesh of the hills.

To leave behind my sword and skills. My bow is mine. It holds no lives. No dirty blood.

My hands wiped clean. I will not be what they made me.

For I am free.

 

Crushing Grip

The crushing weight, the burdensome pleasure,

the pendulum swinging back and forth,

a tightening grip easy to escape.

But the wave crashes, harder and harder,

though the sweet call begs you to ride the wave

just a moment longer.

Kissed with a beautiful curse. Enveloping you it promises

the world. It gives you everything. But it demands the weight,

crushing you, tightening its grip on your lungs,

you can breathe no more.

A step echos.

Down the cold hallway, a promising thin sliver of light seeps through

at the end of a barrage of obstacles. Hesitantly you skit around them, avoiding them

fearing to face their agony. With each turn you are squeezed,

tighter, tighter, until you can no longer breathe,

your lungs useless.

Frantic, your mind thinks to avoid, but your heart,

it pounds, roaring in your chest.

The call to accept your task. For how can it not?

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