She was a shieldmaiden
and nothing spread such a bright smile
across my bloodstained cheeks
so quickly
than the sight of her
riding into my camp

Thunder-hoofed retinue
banners caught in the winds of victory
fire and ash flying
among her braided tresses

In the twilight hours
when the battle long-fought
was fresh upon our lips
as we sat illuminated in the
glow of the council fire

We laughed at the shadows
cast by our responsibilities
mocked how they failed ever-so-menacingly
to frighten our souls

Two warriors
safe within the company of our combined fortitude
mending our armor

Vulnerable and soft
easy prey to naked blades
within arms reach

Speaking of scars
and shattered shields

Defeat was always a winged specter
at these communions
but never able to breach
the circle of light
between our shared pain

But this day she comes alone

no dust cloud raised
above the tents of the war camp

she treads upon barren ground
an angel
among the weathered detritus

I rush to her presence
hoping to find this fear
creeping up the back of my mind
to be little more than
an over-thought

But the truth holds fast
behind my eyes
when I look to hers
and see the redness of
anguished tears

her shield rests upon her back
her blade asleep in its scabbard

my feet grind to a halt
unwilling to carry me
to this fated departure

there is no place in my soul
to store the supply of dread
that means the absence
of her light

Battles must be fought
wherever the enemy strikes
and sometimes our front lines
are out of reach
of our allies

With trembling lips
I force my disappointment
down into the bowels
of the fortress in my chest

when I offer my sword
to her


with gentle and quiet

bid me return it to my hip

with hallowed words
she delivers to me a benediction
that I should understand
I have not abandoned my support to her fight

I have “helped more than I know”

but no more?

shall I hear the cheers of huzzah!
from her battle line
as she routs the enemy
as I have defended her flank

no more?

Shall I supply a rear guard
to her defense
as she withdraws to reform

and are my
flanks yet vulnerable?

and will my forces be cut down
as I attempt to rally?

she tells me that
my prowess can be put to better use

aye, swords can chop wood for the fire
but that is not what swords are for

indeed, a shield can block the midday sun
but heaven’s fire will rain down

Even the strongest iron band
will snap under the will of gravity

and I’ve not the strength to hold her

nor have I the right

so with an open palm I offer her peace
and in all things, victory

and I order the tallest tree
cut from the forest

yes I know the sin I commit
mother nature be damned
and I will accept whatever punishment
She enacts

I want my shieldmaiden’s
my ally’s
flown from the highest summit

that she may see it
e’re she looks back along her journey

and after her silhouette
has crossed the horizon
and is visible no more
to my stinging eyes

She may see it yet still
and know

In the heartbeat
between my dreams
and my reality

She lives…

and I travel
through the day
with the shadow of her kiss
upon my heart

and I wish her well.

About Eric

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16 Responses to SisterHeart…

  1. Rita says:

    This is splendid, Bro. I feel the poignancy of the inevitable.

  2. Impossibly elegant, enchanting, and breathtaking. When I thought he could not get better…Eric from My Sword and Shield. Visit the original please , comments closed here.

  3. Eric says:

    Thank you so much, Heart. I’m deeply honored by that. ❤❤❤

  4. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Exceptional!! Wow! Truly magnificent and I applaud you! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 THANK YOU!

  5. So beautifully and evocatively rendered.

    • Eric says:

      Thank you, Christine. This was written about a dear friend of mine who had to go away from WP for a while. We were very close and I was always in awe of her raw strength and courage. Knowing the hardships she had seen, she was the absolute definition of persistence and dauntless bravery.

  6. Resa says:

    Fab! You should be writing for Game of Thrones or Vikings!

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