Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ulla's song

For Ulla of _A Deceiving Sleep_ from Gypsy Folk Tales, a collection by Diane Tong

It was not for want of beauty,
not for want of beauty that Ulla’s knife wept
for he was beautiful, alright
the one who stole her away,
carried her away

He was radiant, he was
a child of the sun;
a more well-formed man
there has never been

He had a way with horses, and his touch
was golden
his touch was golden
on her skin

It was not for want of beauty
that her knife shed tears
that
night

her knife wept,
wept for what was lost, for
a job not done
a sleep too sound, a blade
left clean

Had she not been
sleeping
when the man came here,
her knife
would have sung the song
to which the stars dance
and she would never have been taken,
she would never have been taken
nor her horse
left
heartbroken

Ulla waits for the night
when he will eat too well, drink too thirstily and
sleep will drug him
like an axe
like an axe to the back of his perfect
mother-kissed
soft-curled head

Then, her knife will sing
her knife will sing, her knife will cut
through the bonds that hold her

She will ride free
under the sky
under the deep, dark sky
once
more

Rachel Westfall
April 1, 2008

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