How will you pass? Quickly, perhaps
in a welter of blood that waters the field.
Or will you lie wounded, left on the war plain
broken and helpless, struggling for breath…?
(merciful wolves will hasten your way.)
Or mayhap you’ll linger, laid on the straw
wracked with fever and feebler each day.
Swift or slow, the end’s the same.
How will you see me? As screaming harpy,
bloody and taloned, tearing her prey?
Or some vision out of Wagner—
stern and fair, a fearless maid
With spear and shield and shining mail?
Or will you sense my own true skin—
born with sadness, old as strife,
but caring still for each I claim.
–by Ann Groa Sheffield. From Idunna, issue 101: Valkyries