Erendis

- Primula

A beauty flitting among the trees
Filled with the radiance of ancient light,
Bearing the grace of your beloved growing things,
The movement of grasses in soft meadow-winds
Echoed in your steps, sunlight in your eyes.
Erendis, daughter of beauty,
Faithful unto death,
Giving your heart to a mariner.

Your beloved pulled away from your gentle grasp,
Taking his heart back into his hands,
He chose the salt waves all laced with bright foam,
The pride of his sailors, the strength of his ships.
The Sea.
The mysteries of far-off lands,
The thrill of the ship's timber trembling
Feeling the first pull of the current in the deeps,
The strong salt wind in the sails,
Held taut with strength of men.

He should have wooed you to the highest cliff,
And dashed you down upon sea rocks -
It would have been kinder to your woman's heart
Than the long dead years of waiting.
Sunrise showing morning's horizon empty,
The harbor's silence at the end of every day.
Season after season, the waiting and the watching
With your eyes always seeking his return.

A reward for your long faithfulness;
He brought a star to be bound upon your brow.
A gem of great worth, not greater than your heart,
Shining like the light of the love yet in your eyes.
How could he not return your love?
When you looked into his eyes,
Memories of seawaves washed in a storm.
When he looked upon your gem-star,
He dreamt of stars above a dark mast in the night.

When at long last he drew you in,
Taking you for his own and promising to stay,
Was it his own heart he cherished or yours?
I will plant trees, he said, and dwell with you here.
The sweet birds, that wedding gift, sang
Over your short years of love,
Over the dear child you bore between you.
How you wept for the soft call of the Sea.
How could he speak of leaving you and the child?
When you listened to his warm heart at night,
You heard the beat of the sea on the shores.
The salt of your tears
Only reminded him of the waves.

In innocence a child's heart knows no boundary.
Small hands reached for him as she climbed into his lap,
Nuzzling close, she scented the sea in his clothing.
Her father was her delight.
Setting her down he turned away
To his waiting ships,
Leaving behind two broken toys, his family
Discarded for something of greater worth.
You would always wait for him,
He thought.
The leaves withered on your branch,
Withered away to bare, dry wood.

The birds were flown, the sea-facing windows
Covered over, as if in mourning for a widow.
The home of the absent mariner
Boarded up, and the heart,
Calloused from long neglect, also.
Resisting the crushing of your hopes for so long,
Your soul had become calloused and worn.
The last spark of love
Pushed deeper and deeper within,
Until it was all but dead,
Suffocated under a weight of years.
Festering into bitterness,
Sharp, black and hard as an tempered knife.
Double bladed to turn upon both the
Maker of the fire that had shaped it
And the bearer of the flame,
And the one they bore between them,
Carving and shaping their child
And her world of men.