Bride to Be (part thirteen)

Posted by ractrose on 18 Aug 2021 in Art, Poems

Pencil drawing of middle-aged early medieval queen




Bride to Be (part thirteen)



Tamarilde woke, the third month at her husband’s side

The house of his childhood theirs, this rude place

No part of her plan had failed them

The dead, from the summit seen

Lay a rippling cloak of black feathers

And the flies, even here indoors, were dense

This heaviness she wished to end

She padded hemmed by walls of straw and mud

All the floor was varied in its cover, rakings carried

to thwart the rains

Flat stone, fragrant sage

oak leaf, needle of pine

a cold wind drove down the corridor

where on this side and that, delved burrowings, a town

A warren, she thought. Alderic’s kin.

Their homes, these hovel-holes, though some

of the women had a gift for weaving

Tamarilde, Queen, slept in the chamber of a king

without a bed, on piles of skins


Taking the charms that hung around her neck

She jingled a waking summons

“Lady,” said the woman, disheveled and smelling

of sheep’s wool and hair, and the sweat of a man

And eased to the passage in fear, and let the knitting

that sheltered her door, fall closed

“Nine months!” said Tamarilde. “Why so? I don’t believe you!

Can I grow larger? Can I bear it? What herb brings babies on?”

“Oh, hush!” said Beodathe. “Pray it comes healthy. That day will

be no comfort to you. You are happier now.”

They had spoken of this, and Tamarilde understood.

She dreaded the birth.




Bride to Be

Pencil drawing of middle-aged early medieval queenBride to Be (part one)














(2021, Stephanie Foster)




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