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Mortal Contention

by Alicia Bair

A majestic and deafening bell tower sings,
A tyrant wails and the torrent rings.
Breath is heavy in the tunnel so deep,
The knight finds the beast at the heels of the keep.

Ashes of flames flicker and dance,
The tune of the hour is a vibrating trance.
Torn asunder in the doorway so cruel,
The shield on his shoulder becomes only fuel.

Dreams of a smile commence without end,
A trusting grin on the face of a friend.
Ghostly skin discolored by touch,
Private discourse is a damaging crutch.

This towering creature, unforgiving and scarred,
Stares into armor that’s broken and charred.
Sauntering in arcs that beat and forge song,
Impassioned struggle produces the strong.

Metal meets smoke with a shimmering fail,
A duplicate sweep and blade pierces scale.
Vengeance is instant and flames are a flood,
Monstrous teeth surrender the blood.

The strangling blast reveals a strange birth,
The scent of embers determines the worth.
Fire lights the wave of red at his feet,
In a battle to death, no choice for retreat.

Behind savage eyes, a light appears through,
A newfound strength and defeat is askew.
Who is this man running out of the deep?
Where is his princess, secure and asleep?

Armor removed, hair falls to her back,
The hero is the damsel, her face coated black.
Eyes of an ocean fill her vacanted mind,
The waves of that sea are calming and blind.

Who is to be saved by this soldier so cracked?
To rescue herself is all that she’s lacked.
Is the beast the villain? Or is it the girl?
The clearing smoke allows truth to unfurl.

With a face in her mind, she shuts her burned eyes,
A lunge and a bite destroy the last cries.

Copyright © 2013 by Alicia Bair

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