Turned Away — A Dream

Shadow & Crown.jpg

“Shadow & Crown” — C.Birde, 9/19

 

They turned away –

she, to the left; he, the right –

and with their eyes averted,

left the boy to face his fate.

Alone.

Abandoned.

Small and pale and fragile,

he unfolded from sleepless sleep,

lifted from a woven basket

by the fireplace.

Full well he knew the sacrifice

owed and expected,

crossed the room to stand

on braided oval carpet.

Accepted.

He accepted.

Alone.

Alone, he faced it.

And at once it rose,

towered,

bent –

grim and featureless –

to greet the boy,

that strange opaque and slippery

column of vaporous gray,

insubstantial as the shadow

it did not, could not cast.

Atop its head of smoke,

a three-pointed crown,

and in a voice of fog and

dust and ashes,

spoke:

“This might as sweet

as honey been,

had first we not

each spake

with kings.”

Gray fog  condensed and

looped and gathered and

in rising

rushing

hissing

torrent leapt into the boy,

bent back the slender neck,

stretched wide his mouth

to choking,

gasping,

until

— at last, at length —

only the boy remained.

Rigid, now.

Compacted.

Pressed full of vapor.

Crown and shadow

consumed and swallowed.

Alone.

He stood alone.

And they –

she and he,

themselves protecting –

did nothing,

nothing,

but turn.

They turned

away.

 

 

— C.Birde, 9/19

 

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