Naught to be Forgiven

- jan-u-wine

'Frodo'
 
the gentl'd spill
of his voice
slices,
imagined
sunlight,
through the edges
of my dreams....
 
drifted dreams
of Shadow
and Light,
red-hazed fire,
green-curved leaves...
 
I remember
this voice.
 
This voice,
an age ago,
asked me,
in just this 
quiet tone,
how my shoulder
might be.
 
This voice
told me
to trust
to myself.
 
This voice
 
bade me
flee.
 
And so I did.
 
And so I do.
 
At the roughened
edges
of my sleep,
where fire
waits
and weighs my eyes,
I know it cannot
be he
who says my name
like
it were
the only word
left
to an echoing
world.
 
It cannot be.
 
I do not wish
to wake
and find that
only emptiness
has called me back.
 
In my mind,
I seek the Sea,
hold
to its slow-cadenced
music,
 
smoothing its waves
like a soothing hand
over the corners
of my fear.
 
No matter
that I do not
desire
any longer
the world
that will greet
my opening
eyes:
 
light and sound
are before me,
pulling me forward
to where
dream meets waking.
 
The unspoilt sky....
 
a shock of wide,
fierce blue,
 
marbled
by gentle clouds,
holds me silent.
 
I feel my heart
beating
in my throat.
 
A form,
sparking brilliance,
like the snow of long-ago
Caradharas,
stands sentinel
against the sky,
against the poured gold
of the Sun.
 
It is true.
 
We are both here:
both
 
alive.
 
I cannot speak
for the tears
tightening my throat.
 
I am no longer
a simple Hobbit,
nor he a wizard
of the second degree.
 
My mind fills
with all the Ages
of Light and Shadow
he has known,
 
all the little joys,
all the wearing despair.
 
In truth, I see there was
no other way.
 
He takes my hand.
 
It hurts, still.
 
It desires,
still.
 
After all his long years,
after all his wise eyes
have seen,
 
he can still cry.
 
He is saying
he is sorry.
 
I turn my head away.
 
I have forced myself
(and been forced)
to bear much.
 
This
oh, this
I cannot bear:
 
the still body
a mere breath,
a step
from mine,
 
ragged hands....
 
feet bound by red-tinged
linen.
 
My eyes take account
of every hurt,
 
every breath that
struggles
there.
 
He knew.
From the beginning,
he knew the end
of this Road.
 
Like poison,
anger rises
and shakes me.
 
Bitter knowledge
joins it.
 
What else,
who else,
was there?
 
We are here,
we are alive.
 
It is wondrous
Spring.
 
Our hurts will heal.
 
I turn and meet his eyes.
 
They are an old man's eyes,
soft with begging sorrow.
 
Just for this little moment, out of all time,
I must be the wise one.
 
I make my mouth smile, and take his hand
in return.
 
It seems strange to stand again,
to breathe air minted with Spring,
to
 
accept his embrace,
as if I were yet
a child of the Shire.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
 
When he has gone,
blinding whiteness
bleeding into
the sunlight beyond
the canopy,
I am happy to sit by your side,
quiet
upon the dead whisper
of grass that covers the ground.
 
Maybe
I will sleep a bit,
my head at rest upon the arm
that held me safe through many
a dark hour.
 
Maybe
you
will forgive me
when you wake.
 
Maybe
you
will help me see
there is nothing
to forgive.