Monday, May 31, 2021

The Washer at the Ford by Lauren Hershey


She Who Is Art

They call me the Washer at the Ford.

I stand vigil at the intersection of rivers,
Where you come to cross with clanging swords.
I feel your grim fortune as an icy shiver
And mourn the knowledge I must deliver –
A choice that is meant to be yours.

My disheveled apparition is not a ruse.
I know this news comes freshly laundered for you,
But I have been cleansing it from my mind’s long queue.
All the prophetic tribulations and trials anew,
They clang about with kaleidoscopic hues.

Oh, would they just spew out my lips for transparent review.

Is it amusing?
To see what you want to see, to do as you choose?
What freedom must lie in your refusal,
To not know which ends and ways to pursue.
Yet, the clues all lead to the same destination:
Your true path and its cues.

They call me the Washer at the Ford.

I douse the bloody rags of those who seek
Battles before their time, all grim and bleak,
Filled with macabre purpose, no peace to speak.
I beseech you, let this stench reek.

Let its vapors warn others who walk this path
A clarion call for the scavenger’s wrath
Hark! Here shall be the last bloodbath.

Here, at the Ford, where harbingers have
Gathered in hopeful mourning,
Shape-shifting Phantastes take flight as a warning.

Visions of raven feathers streak overhead,
Filling you with inspiration or piercing dread,
Calling your heart to act with humility or demanding your head.
Which path do you choose to heed?
Where are you led?

You cannot evade or delay the plucked flower,
Offered to you by the riverside, in the bower.
You cannot ignore spoken truth to power,
In this, your fateful hour.

Oh, how my linens drip with lore and the gore
Of all those who fought for false glory
As I keen and wail with fury.

Pray tell, dear One, what is your hurry?

I am the Morrigan.

I foretell your story.

Poem from our upcoming anthology, Warrior Queen: Answering the Call of The Morrigan.

Lauren Hershey is an avid storyteller, writer of speculative fiction and poetry, and an unconventional Plutonian who revels in weaving creativity from the unseen realms into practical everyday use. Since 2012, she has worked in international conflict transformation and peacebuilding, interpersonal conflict resolution, education, and storytelling. Lauren is passionate about equipping individuals and communities with resources for self-discovery and empowerment and tools to navigate and transform conflict narratives with courage and empathy.

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