“Ols Maria,” Anders Zorn, 1918, WikiArt.

From chapel pulpit, wave of his right hand,
Parson announced we were all connected,
His sermon, life on outer Scottish islands,
Distant cousins, we are all blood-relations,
Deep-rooted heritage, time-extending since
First Celtic invaders. Fall nights, in my bed
Half-sleeping, faint smoke open-window
Drifting, I, Willow, dream-lingered with
Sea-wandering ancient ancestors.

Upon Hebridean sea-girt cliffs, they settled,
First few, then dozens, land’s end dwellings
Established – their chance inhabiting, plough-
Turned fertile earth. Had they been chieftain-
Banished or preferred isolation, life beyond
Sun-setting evening skies? Celtic families,
Similarities discerned, my ancestral self
Recognized me, shell adorned hair, father’s
Daughter, knife-wielding woman my age.

“Who are you?” she asked, reaching arm’s
Length into rising night-fire smoke. “Willow,”
I replied, fingertips touching, “Connected
We are,” though neither of us dared venture
Beyond time-forged boundaries, witchery she
Accepted like daily sunrises, windswept rainy
Days. “Ríonach,” she stated. “Sisters we are.”
Knotted string from wrist she removed, cast
Through spark-rising smoke, past time, on my
Blankets landing, Celtic connections made.

This is Willow’s second encounter with Rionach.
Thanks for reading.

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