The Crossroads


Silence reigns upon this land

Beneath the Shadow’s grim command,

Save thunder rolling off the hills,

A bleak portent that give us chills.

The trembling earth beneath our feet

Seems to warn of our defeat;

Since to be caught means certain death,

We hardly dare to take a breath.

The Crossroads lie within the gloom,

And beckon with impending doom.

There is no doubt; not in the least –

This is where our path turns East.

My heart is filled with creeping dread;

I fear we’re near our journey’s end.

What hope is there for us to hold

As we draw near the darkness cold?

Even if we reach the fire,

We can’t survive a task so dire.

I always knew we’d have no rest –

That only death could end this quest.

The sun sinks in the blood-red sky;

I heave a deep and weary sigh.

For us, all hope of life is past –

I know this sun will be our last.

But then I see, upon Sam’s face,

A soft, warm glow, a ray of grace.

And by the sunset’s fading light

I find a sad, distressing sight:

An ancient king of carven stone

That guards this bitter path alone,

Now ravaged by the Enemy,

Beheaded, stripped of dignity.

But then I take a look around

And see his head upon the ground,

Wreathed in flowers like a crown.

The final beams of light shine down –

And like white stars, the flowers gleam,

Just like a vision from a dream.

I catch my breath and cry to Sam,

“The king has got a crown again!”

At last, our spirits stir and rise.

We see it in each other’s eyes –

Mordor’s strength cannot endure,

Of this truth we can be sure.

And then I realize, with a start,

I’m at a crossroads in my heart.

Within a blink, the sun is gone.

Tomorrow there will be no dawn.

Our world is plunged into the night,

Bereft of any sign of light.

But now I have the memory,

And that’s enough to hearten me.

The message is for me to heed;

The glimpse of hope is all I need

To see me through the road ahead,

Sustain me when all hope seems dead.

Sam and I are in good Hands,

Just like our friends in distant lands.

I fix my eyes upon our road

And steel myself to bear my load.

Whatever horrors come my way,

Whatever price I have to pay –

I’ll always know the light is there.

I choose to hope and not despair.

By Ellen Virginia