Pim Claridge

Life in the Scottish Borders, one stanza at a time

Blue-Steel Sword

that sword, that sword
that steel-blue sword, thrusting
with desperate anguish.
beneath your sodden tartan plaid this
heavy sword sliced, thrust
and stabbed, to kill your own.
my eyes, their eyes, your eyes
deep blue against the pallor of our faces.

in the mist the eagle hangs
above the crags against the sky
as dawn reveals this cruel,
icy, blood drenched day.

you heard them, laughing
in the house, the sword
already in your shaking hand,
and the plaid laid a curse upon your back
as you sliced and stabbed,
and thrust to kill your kin.

and through all these years
I, the healer, lost in time,
have borne the shadow of your sword,
that blue-steel sword, upon my arm.
the shadow of that blue-steel sword
that killed your own, and in so doing
killed your spirit too.
and I am wracked with guilt, such guilt
I did not, could not, stop that sword,
that blue-steel sword
your once shining, bloodstained,
blue-steel sword.