Bride to Be (part seventeen)

Pencil drawing of middle-aged early medieval queen

 

 

 

Bride to Be
(seventeen)

 

And these were the old king’s decrees

That Alderic remained in duty a son

welcomed once; for license taken, not again

to touch the woman who in succession

stands, and must to a crowned head be wived

Ill, she drops below the cloth and vomits

Straightens, rinses her mouth with wine

of elders, feasting next her husband in sin

by any faith, uncouth Godolfo

Her father’s liegeman has raised a strong thatched house

Tamarilde to infect his hall and bed

with her stained, keening, angered love

for Alderic, only Alderic

 

He is too simple to be cruel, her father said

But cruel he were, daughter, I should not chide him

He stoops to take you for his bride

Father, I have been wed, I have tried the stones

in the fire’s embers…

We have nothing more, he said, striking her to the floor

To do with pagan tempters

 

Truth be, I could not learn from Beodathe

Did my child live or die

I bore others

Daughters both. I thought to plunge them in a well

to spare a woman’s fate; I did not

In time, Godolfo fell to dotage

In time, for the way to the spit of exiled land

My Alderic raised his stock upon

was short, I soon could pace my horse

to reach him in a day

Then, I began to stay

 

 

 


Bride to Be

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2022, Stephanie Foster)

 

 

 

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