Bride to Be (part eleven)

Pencil drawing of middle-aged early medieval queen



Bride to Be (part eleven)


“She was in my father’s camp, what would hers do?

Dishonor…would he assume it so?

The cruelest of his knights, bloodiest of his kin…”

Aldebert halts in attentive pose

In sudden suspicion Wildulfa sees

her gift of prophecy under trial

“But there was no slaughter, rather, trickery…”

The legbone stripped of meat she drops

in a meaning way

and harvests a smile of insufferable secrecy

“Not trickery,” he answers her. “A better thing.

You know the flag of truce must be revered.

The company sent to deliver Alderic’s head

were thrown in doubt…”

“A fight they had anticipated, not a parley.

Arrogating to himself, in exile, sovereignty…

Do I mean exile,” she adds, “or do I mean disgrace?”

This barb, too, draws but a lively look exchanged

Alderic says, “Disgrace, I grant you, fairly said.

I was green, not yet had proved myself in battle.

My dispute not with my lady’s sire, but mine own uncle.”

“But truce my father sued after…

‘As I am now your son.’ A double-bond of kinship

Whereupon…he pledged his oath and asked as well,

the use of his new father’s seasoned men,

as officers, each to hold command.

Then shape his band of ruffians into champions.”



Bride to Be

Pencil drawing of middle-aged early medieval queenBride to Be (part one)
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(2020, Stephanie Foster)



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