The Heraldry of the Shire

- jan-u-wine

Not much for weaponry,
my folk,

not much for sword or surcoat,
buckler or brigandine…..

More like to find joy
in the sudden strike of sun upon water

than its play upon drawn blade,

more like to dreme upon

fields
full-to-belly-bursting
with riotous harvest

than those  
run-red with the gore’d
chaff

of battle.

May they never know,

those whom I love,
(those whom I have left behind)

may they never know

the heart-weariness
of

killing
a man,

of cleaving him quick,
his face

marred by blood
and surprise,

or
the sick
unsettlement
of life leaving his eyes,

breath stilling,
fingers loosening,

legs folding gracelessly
until

we are
face-to-face.

And I,

his enemy….

I,

his sorrowful executioner,

pay the debt of my guilt
and stay,

silent,
heedful of parting whispers

exhaled
in a tongue I do not know,

standing sentinel
until the last of the light
fades from his eyes.

He is leaning against me now,

and

though it matters not,
I lay him gently down,

one-handedly close dark eyes,
place a broken hand about the
haft of his axe.

For myself,

for I-know-not-why,
I take the short-bladed dagger
(now point-tipped with my blood)
hilt-bound with a Southron’s crest.

Someday,
I may use it
to part the seal
of a letter,

someday,
when I am Home
among the fields

and the little paths
bound by starlight

and the wide ribbon of the Brandywine,

someday,

everyday
I shall look upon it

and remember.


Not much for weaponry, my folk.