“Spirit of the Summit,” Frederic Leighton, WikiArt.

“You have fallen from the sky,” my mother,
Thrya, whispered – boundless, nameless
Place I met soul of crone Halfrida, snow-
Swirling moments joined, then to earth
I plunged, recast as sight-gifted Brynfrida.
Body-mind separated and conjoined, around
Hearth fires I gazed, tea sipping, trance of
Dancing flames, reckoning strangeness.
I realized breathing fire, too, had life, coals
Smoldering, faces, voices realized, known,
Seen clearly as my own. “Upon snowy slopes,
I am lost, mother. Realms beneath Norse gods,
Limned clouds dwelling, wisdomed heights,
Thunderous might. Within their counsel,
Maiden forest wanderer I will become.

Outside Norse homestead, twenty gathered,
Young and old, sick of heart-body, guidance
Seeking as with Halfrida. “Her cave I will not
Enter,” I announced. “Her potions relied upon
Ancient rites, dark magic spells.” “Then what?”
Asked they. Clothing ragged, broken boots,
Sick followed me into forests dense until
Braving no more, like motherless cubs, cried
Aloud, “May she endure,” bewailing loss of agéd
Crone. Such were my sad beginnings, fearing
Neither beast nor cold, single backward glance,
Norse village mist dissolved. Halfrida’s throng,
Staggering leeches, sacrificed her life blood,
Any means, curing infected wounds and ills.

“Reclining Nude,” Frederick Bazille, WikiArt photo.

By divining flame, I pushed upward, tree-to-
Tree, lichened stones my salvation from wind-
Driven snows. Rambling streams, like hearth
Fires, beckoned me, ancient water-forms arising.
Wind through branches moved, presence felt,
Warm slumbering hours, no human form
Endured crossing lighted threshold. “Never can
You vanquish my love of hill-winding paths,
Spruce trees, heavenly ferns.” Voiceless, all this
I breathed. “Blessed earthly ties,” melodious
Voices advised, pagan rituals of antlered deer,
Deific heights elevated, myself given to golden
Lantern, all consuming flame, forest wanderer
I, Brynfrida, became.

Thanks for reading this second Brynfrida poem.

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