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Poem: "The Ones They Leave Behind" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Ones They Leave Behind"

This poem came from the July 5, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from marina_bonomi and tabard, then sponsored out of general funds.  It's a direct sequel to "Shine On" and shows the perspective of Larn as he watches his sister leave the village.

If you want to read more about Shahana the Paladin and friends, that's an option in the July perk poll for serial poetry.

The Ones They Leave Behind


Larn watched his sister walk away from the village
at the side of the steadfast paladin.
It was said that a paladin had come from here, once,
or somewhere around here, or something like that.

Now the paladin had come and gone,
the way the raiders had come and gone --
to be sure, one bringing good and the other evil,
but neither staying in the ruined village.

It was up to Larn and the other young boys,
with the help of the old men and women,
to rebuild whatever could be salvaged
and try to replace what had gone astray.

He was the last of his family, and likely to stay that way,
all the girls gone long since except a few toddlers.
Parents dead, aunts and uncles and cousins too.
Brothers and sister walked off into the world.

No Ari to gather unicorn hair to trade
to the traveling merchants -- that would hurt.
It had been months since anybody saw one, though;
perhaps the war had run off the unicorns anyhow.

Larn hitched up the mule that the paladin had left.
There was time yet to plow and replant.
He rubbed his hands together and tried to find
some tendril of earth-magic to revive the trampled ground.

The mule turned a quizzical head to Larn
and pushed his soft muzzle into the boy's calloused hands.
There.  There.  The magic twined around like a morning glory vine,
binding boy and mule, plow and seeds and soil.

No one would ever sing songs about them, but they didn't care.
Songs were for the heroic ones going upon the great campaigns.
It was up to the others, the ones they left behind,
to see that there was something to come home to.

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Current Mood: busy busy

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
eseme From: eseme Date: July 9th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
It is so very important to have something to come home to. And if he is lucky, his sister will retire in the little village. Or at least come through for a visit.

I do like this one, and am glad they are rebuilding.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 10th, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

>>It is so very important to have something to come home to.<<

Sooth. Come to think of it, that theme is in this month's Fiorenza poem too, "From the Free City."

>> And if he is lucky, his sister will retire in the little village. Or at least come through for a visit.<<

That's a possibility, especially if it comes up for a prompt. *ponder* I don't know yet how big this setting is, but there are hints that Shahana came from this area.

>> I do like this one, and am glad they are rebuilding. <<

Yay!
laffingkat From: laffingkat Date: July 9th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like this, and I hope we'll encounter Larn again. This poem also makes me really curious about the setting, and how magic works in this world.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: July 10th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

>> I like this, and I hope we'll encounter Larn again.<<

Yay! Future encounters are largely up to the audience. It depends on what prompts I get, in the currently open perk call and in subsequent fishbowls. I wouldn't mind seeing Larn again. The more I think about it, the more I think people like him are important to what happens in this setting.

>> This poem also makes me really curious about the setting, and how magic works in this world. <<

Tiredly, at least in a fair number of places and people. Implications are that some folks still have access to high-caliber magic, but there are signs of rundown in important sources: the land, the people, and at least one deity. (I can tell you, for instance, that there's a reciprocal relationship of power exchange between deity and devotees.) Not a so-good thing. It will be interesting to explore more of what's going on.
helgatwb From: helgatwb Date: March 17th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like this. I like the subject and the style. That last line really works for me.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: April 13th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

I wanted to explore some of the background characters and action in a heroic setting. I'm glad you liked it!
6 comments or Leave a comment