A Warrior’s Question

I didn’t want her.
I didn’t need her.
King’s best man,
I had women when I felt like it.
I had a life, comfortable, prosperous,
a reputation, among men
I had honor.
She meant disgrace.
I didn’t want her
I didn’t need her –
What would you have done?
I admit it – she terrified me.

Photo ©Margaret McCarthy

I’m a warrior.
I face down fear; I expect the unexpected.
But how could I imagine this,
the unimaginable?
It’s a rare moment when one sees
the river of one’s life change course forever,
at the exact moment it happens.
The oath she put me under
cleaved my life in two: before and after.

She changes everything she touches;
everything she touches changes.

Yet her pronouncement
had the force of some hard light, a sun
burning, or a wave sweeping –
Or the force of some hand
behind a spoon, stirring

first an eddy, then beating
rivers, currents, seas
into motion, until creation brewed over.

Sweeping me along against my will,

Forming in this place,
maybe a cauldron,
maybe a star –

it was a dare, but
so much more –

It was a summons, a meeting at the water.
What would you have done?