This Winter That Will End by Margaret Lloyd

I have to admire the way your words

enduring and graceful create

just the right tone. Not giving

anything away but making it

clear you are enduring the necessity

of words for the sake of grace.

But are we talking about being polite

or are we talking about God?

In my mind I put your words

next to the old woman

whose knees and bare feet

froze to the ice on her own floor,

and was found days later repeating

‘Oh God, Oh God’ in Polish.

It was the officer’s opinion

this kept her alive. But was he

referring to speech or prayer?

If prayer, it was through

her continuous prayer, her prayer

was answered. Presuming, of course,

she wanted to stay alive. Often,

we don’t know what we want.

I fear this winter will end

and it will be too late. Too late

to remember our intentions, too late

to repeat what we never understood.

 

by Margaret Lloyd

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Heading Toward Trouble by Margaret Lloyd

Lately I’ve been thinking about Efnisien.

The trouble-maker, the rash prince, the complicated man.

 

I see him in the north of Wales.

It’s the dead of night in the eleventh century,

everyone exhausted from feasting.

He slashes the lips, tails, and eyelids of horse

after horse until all the King of Ireland’s

steeds are maimed for his revenge.

In the dawn, he leans back to rest

against the toadflax growing in the castle walls.

I find myself heading toward that kind

of trouble. Wanting to disrupt the feast,

overturn the order, throw a child

into the fire to avenge some insult.

And later be perfectly willing to break

my heart for any neccesary reason.

 

by Margaret Lloyd