"Portrait of an Old Woman," Guido Reni, 1630, WikiArt photo.
“Portrait of an Old Woman,” Guido Reni, 1630, WikiArt photo.

Part 3: Sisters Visiting Agéd Crone

Secretive advice of farmers, whispers amongst
Smoky flames, Rheta and Dordei urged to visit
Agéd crone, raving seer, manipulator of fates
And furies, her incantations bending ears of
Immortal gods. In trembling fear, two sisters
With Dordei’s child approached wizened wreck,
Her sooty cave foul with potions wafting. Clad
She was in skins, hand-carved animal bones.
Discerned she did, why they sought her sight.

“Things of Kirkor you used delivering new life
In death-filled tombs.” Sisters agreed. “Contrary
Winds haunt you now, this warrior-shade. His
Armor and shield you wore,” crone to Rheta
Sang. “New life brought him into this world,
New death will cast him to the other side,” she
Added in chanting strains. “By Kirkor’s bronze
Dagger, one of you must die: child, mother or
Rheta, you select.” Sisters listened, horrified.

Dark clouds of fate descending, as the ancient
Plowman decreed, guardian of Dordei and her
Child, Rheta, chose to die upon sacrificial altar
Stone. Kirkor’s bronze dagger would clave her
Noble heart, blood and flesh given freely to save
Her family. Garments of misery worn, dropped
To slender feet, naked she stepped to killing
Slab, dizzying death by cloaked strangers, her
Blood collected, sprinkled on flowering fields.

Dordei laid Rheta’s pale body to rest in stone
Hovel, door sealed closed. Alas! Kirkor’s shade
Was no more. Yet, Dordei with her child returned
To tomb where Kirkor was first aroused. Enraged,
She gathered oil and rags, tomb she set to roaring
Blaze, crypts of dead warriors belched black smoke,
Wraiths crying screams from caves. Vengeance by
Fire Dordei obtained, son’s consciousness returned,
Owen she named him after sea-lost husband.

"Sacrifice of Flowers," Mihaly Munkacsy, 1896, WikiArt photo.
“Sacrifice of Flowers,” Mihaly Munkacsy, 1896, WikiArt photo.

With Owen clutched in arms, Dordei made arduous
Trek to earthquake-ruined Naxos Island fishing
village. “Sister,” she heard Rheta whisper, “Dordei,
We are all here now, our husbands and myself,”
Voices stated from ethereal heights. Rheta’s gentle
Hands shook Dordei awake. Tremors caused mosaic
Tiles on bedroom walls to fall upon her head. From
Injuries Dordei awakened, all things happened, but
During dreadful dreams at home.

Yes, the entire poem, Parts 1 through 3, was dreamt
Dordei when mosaic wall tiles fell upon her head. 

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