Bride to Be (part one)

Pencil drawing of middle-aged early medieval queen



Bride to Be


She is going to marry; she will bargain for herself

A right-hand place, that of first wife, an ear beside the throne

A voice of calm and counsel, bent on knitting borders

She has two offers, and prefers of these, one

She asks that her kinswoman carry back this word

My way binds hands the better, my sympathies assured

Being somewhat divine, the queen’s younger sibling

A member of the household, but long consecrated to the gods

Is oft entrusted with her brother’s will

May leave his house, permitted to play envoy

The streets are now in a winter state

She has gone down on horseback with seven soldiers

One to lead, two on either side, two behind

They walk their mounts in the mud at a stately pace

Each forward rider, a head before her, bears the king’s banner

They pass the gate; they go a mile through thin woodland

One of the rearguard is given a message

He gallops ahead where the ground is firmer

Carves behind him up the hill, a trail of crescents

Soon, as they approach, the widow’s flag is raised

To say she is at home and welcomes them

At once the hearths are set to blazing

The feast will take some time, but mead is served

“Daughter,” she says, for she has forty years

“It is the time of life when one has done one’s duty.

I will tell you a story.”


They say Dame Fortune’s favors bless the bold

It may be so, yet such must fall with no great fealty

For equally the quiet, biding soul

Gains much, by patience… in time, she may gain all



Bride to Be

Pencil drawing of middle-aged early medieval queen
Bride to Be (two)
The Marigold Bowl















(2017, Stephanie Foster)



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