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 Aralyn Comes
Aralyn Comes  

Along the moonlit path
Old trees with older memories
Are restless

Aralyn approaches

Beautiful, dangerous
She pauses to watch their boughs sway
And speak the language
To usher in this magic, tragic night

Her flaming hair is a torch among the royal emerald leaves--
Their empire of branches, her loyal subjects ‘til the end…
‘Til the end and still

The sudden breeze matures into windy ghosts
That spin clouds into a carousel
And lace at the bottom of her nightgown flutters
Like wings of the night bird perched above,
But she fears nothing of the darkness

Aralyn waits

She waits until the breath that brought
Clouds to cover the moon
Chases them away in turn

When a sliver of the Carolina moon reappears,
She sighs in relief--
She does not want her deed to be obscured
From the eyes of God

So long laid low--an ether presence unknown
Tonight she will reveal herself
In a cry that can no longer be unheard

From her secret view
The house waits like an old friend--
Here she was born; here she died

She knows houses cannot be
But people can

Aralyn smiles

Waiting, waiting
As windows fill with candlelight,
And a reverie fills her mind:

Smells of a river that empties into the sea--
Its salty anticipation like wet silk on skin

Church steeples trying to compete
With great spires of Live Oaks….

Loves of childhood, hurts, victories
Dark days of the past…

Reveries and resolve
Have been her salvation
In the early of grave

Aralyn yearns

The comfort of a screen door bumping
Children, a woman
Leave night outside and fill the glowing rooms

She catches a glimpse of portraits
That watch over those who dwell there--

Though the painting that should witness
The life in those rooms
Has been removed by a heartless hand
And cruelly forgotten

In the hush of seven years' solitude
She has surely learned to listen

Now one by one each heartbeat inside the house
Begins to slow as slumber descends on all
Save one

She has troubled the sleep of the one
Now alone in a downstairs room--
Alone, restless…oblivious

How she once admired this figure of a man
How she was so wrong--
Cur among men!

He is vexed tonight not because of conscience

The flame-haired whisper shadow
Is alone responsible for his distress

Aralyn beams

She sees him pacing, seeking solace
That will never be found
And tonight will not be the end of that search--
But the beginning of another
More perilous part of his journey

Her bare feet are chilled from diamonds of dew
An elegant cape trails behind her
As she moves from her place among the trees

Fire and ice and something she can't name
Move in her as surely as the blood
That once pumped through her body

She moves toward the house
With the confidence of a child
And the stealth of a panther

Aralyn comes

She compels the agitated man
To open the door
And step out on the porch
That encompasses the house

He stares into the distance
And wonders why he finds himself there

All the while
Aralyn is closing in

With velvet steps
Brave and sure, she glides
Righteous as the church bell's ring
Until she touches the ground no more

Finally, she allows the man to catch a glimpse
Of the one who is coming for him
Her forest green cape and her hair,
Both caught in breeze

He tries to scream, but she has stolen his breath
Tries to call on courage, tries to flee
But he can only remain still as the tomb
That bears Aralyn's name

Close enough to hear his frantic breathing,
Her deep eyes become embers
And she draws her cape over her head to conceal them
His flame will be extinguished as hers was

Aralyn stills

The terror that cages him
May have fostered sympathy from her…
In the past

But in a lightning flash moment
She remembers this heartbeat of her life,
And her compassion becomes a thing chained
Unable to make its way to her heart

Seven days she was his bride
Seven years ago she died
Died in the dark, alone
Without the eyes of the one she loved
To offer her mercy

But mercy does not dwell in this monster--
He would not look in her eyes
When he dealt the death blow  

How carefully he'd hid them,
As he had his intentions--
Anonymous enemy dressed in white
He would not look in her eyes!

So that moment--that eternity of darkness he plunged her into
He didn't see how he filled them with surprise--
Never saw the panic or resignation
Coward who turned away
He could not look in her eyes!

He heard only her cry of disbelief
Resounding through their room
And her last memory of the man she'd loved?
A gloved hand raised to hide a smile

The grand house, all the lands
A fortune made by her father's hands
Passed  to a murderer in a single wound
And a growing stain of blood

So he knew  his ghostly bride
Stood before him tonight

With the dagger hidden in the folds of her cape
Aralyn flashed deadly, an upward thrust

Then removed the instrument of her death
From his chest and wiped his blood on her nightgown
Beside the stain he'd made seven years ago
And her murderer fell to the floor

Eyes still hooded, she watched as he gasped
As he grasped for a hand to hold in his dying

Though he silently pleaded for her eyes to cling to
As he slipped away to judgment,
She denied him the effortless tenderness
He'd so cruelly denied her

Aralyn resisted the smile of satisfaction
Until she raised her pale hand to obscure it--
She would not vary from his deadly scenario

She stepped into night
And let the hood of her cape
Rest on her shoulders once more

Breeze calmed, trees calmed
Moon and every star
Congregated above her head like fireflies

Aralyn sighed

She breathed the summer night fragrance
And took a last look
At her home and its sentinel trees

Walking toward her resting place
Her soul did not burn for justice
Yet she radiated as one full of life

Night mist engulfed her
And she passed into another realm

Aralyn ascended

(from on Lacrymose)
June 16, 2011




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