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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


Brynhild´s Ride to Hel

The horses plod...
Such long, solemn faces.
They must be whipped
Until mouth foams
And flanks are damp.

She careens toward reunion
With the fearless lord
Who broke Odin´s armor
With one tender touch.
Who wed her dwarf gold
From the belly of Fafnir.

Held up half way to hell
By a boundary stone
Big as an Ogress
Whose runes rant
That she must renounce her goal:

"O giddy and headstrong
Don´t you know you are goin
Into the arms of Gudrun´s husband ?
You whom your father encouraged
To run berserk whooping war cries
Bouncing off ice floes, splitting the granite
Of Nordic skies."

Hear how Brynhild dismissed the World Bitch
Who stood between her and her desire:

"Begone, Old Ogress, Old Mother of Lying.
Your rules and your orders, 
Your rock-carved commandments
Do not apply to my kind.

When you warn that other women
have tasted his bounty,
That he never lifts a horn to his lips
One time,

You speak as though you addressed
The still living.
I do not even pause to consider.
My answer to you

Will be these hoofbeats fading
You hear in the wake of the waves
I make - streaming toward
Sigurd´s embrace.



© Joanne Ford

Image: "Bryhild´s Immolation", Arthur Rackham

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