by Anitra L. Freeman
On this true turning point of winter's spin
ancient Scandinavians enthroned Old Winter
on a towering bonfire, and as he ruled
in darkness over the people huddled
young bloods on horseback rode to the rescue,
circled the gathered logs, shouting and taunting
the outworn King till the leader, the Hero,
laid the first torch, then a thunder of torches
drowned out the night
and Winter burned.
I wish I could
hoist all my silent darknesses
onto the wooden throne
hung with bits of frozen life
touched by the shrieking fingers of the dark.
But in that fire
what else might melt and go?
I am afraid
the Hero, the Fire-Bringer, may turn his face to me.
It is a mirror
and looking, all I see
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