Shalott Revisited

I once met a fine young man

Winning in his manners, honest in his speech

With ideals that defied the world

So broad in their scope, believing in the unseen

Clinging to faith, and when that wavered, to hope,

And when that wavered, to love, supreme among virtues

 –

(Could he not have shared that love with me instead of another?)

 –

We spoke of golden times and tales

Bright as illuminated script, revealing our thoughts

And I saw us both as “knight” and “lady”

Bound by a common purpose and worthy desire

To bring out the best in one another

In a fast-fading summer of youthful fancies

 –

(Could that summer not have lasted and grown through all seasons?)

 –

We talked of lost treasures

Sparkling ‘neath the sun, yet guarded by dragons

Things worth living and dying to win

Armed with the sword of passion and the shield of truth

I knew he would fight for them and gain them

And I hoped his lance might bear my silken favor

 –

(Did another favor have to be tied atop that weapon?)

 –

I hear his voice on the wind

Simple in its delivery, yet enchanting in its melody

And I feel a magic carried on the breeze

Because it brushed against his shoulder, as it brushed mine

Connecting us though we are far apart

And though he finds comfort in the company of another

 –

(Could he not have found as much comfort in my own presence?)

– 

If I should die while he is away

Fighting for the honor of his own chosen lady

Send him my heart in a casket of silver

Tied with a satin ribbon, redder than blood

Cast it in his path on the field where he will fight

Like the blessing I gave him when my eyes were dimming

 –

(Could I not have used my final breath to kiss him instead?)

By Avellina Balestri

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