of swords
Heart of Blades
An ekphrastic inspired by Rider-Waite Tarot’s the Eight of Swords
Bounded in silt, buried
Up to their hilts, here stand
Eight silver rapiers
Set in a ring.
Spider-like blades gird this
Blind-folded maid in a
Taut arachnidian
Web she can’t spring.
Nevertheless, this bound
Damsel’s distress is self-
Levied—her martyrdom
Masks what’s beneath.
Swords denote strife; trauma’s
Shrouded her life. For each
Blight, her steeled heart drew a
Sword from its sheath.
One for abandonment,
Two more for ravishment—
Three more made six fixed blades
Sprung from lament.
Pain and fled faith forged the
Seventh and eighth, when at
Last, this spent maid had to
Bow over, bent.
Loath to accommodate
Blades any longer, she
Knew she’d stand taller with
Burdens unfurled.
Spinning atilt, she gripped
Each saber’s hilt, and sunk
Eight—one-by-one—in the
Ground where she twirled.
Dizzy with motion, she
Nurtured the notion that
Heartache had wrapped her in
Ironclad ties.
Armed with that dictum, she
Channeled the victim who’s
Standing here bound, blinking
Blindfolded eyes.

Paralyzed fly, you’ve not
Much to decry; for the
Ensiform threads in your
Web sport a rift.
Minus your veil, you’d see
Past old travails, and walk
Free through these swords knowing
Pain is a gift.

Mindy Watson

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Mindy Watson  would be pleased to hear them.