A Woman For All Seasons
or Once Upon a Time In Greece

once upon a time there was a woman
who had been wronged
in fact, she had been so betrayed
that it twisted her soul even beyond the point
where she thought it could be fixed

but time wore on and she stopped worrying about
the twist of her heart
and learned to love the pain
- or so she thought

now a warrior she roamed over hill and dale conquest on her mind
and blood in her eye and pretty nearly had all of known Greece
in the fist of her left hand
her right hand on the hilt of her sword of course
because she trusted no one
how could she when she'd never gotten over
the pain of unrequited love

seems she'd given her heart to a man
she had no business dealing with
but learned the hard way that the division
of a woman's heart and mind
brings certain ruination - but then who needed a heart
not her - ever -
so she packed it away and concentrated on one thing:

if she was in a world of it then it was only right
that the world be along for the ride
and what a ride
until the small wee voice of a child pricked past her defences
reminding her that although feelings can be denied they
can never ever be truly killed.

and so she packed things away again
only this time it was sword
and chakram and set out to meet
maybe   no one knows for sure
but it didn't matter because another cry filled the air
and pricked past her defences
this time it was a young woman with adventure in her eye
and a keen heart to follow in the warrior's footsteps

was she insane to follow such a lunatic
such a bloodthirsty villain
most assuredly
but evidently she saw something no one else did
the warrior princess had a heart
it was rusty because it was seldom ever used
but it was there all the same

but being a tragic figure meant the young woman had to put up
with less than ideal conditions and rather stoic behaviour
which didn't deter her one bit because she was made of
pretty stern stuff  besides her family really
didn't have a handle on who she was and the woman
who fancied herself something of a bard
wasn't going to come crying home to them and prove she
was so different that a broken down old war horse
wouldn't have her around

but after a period filled with thoughtless actions
naivety and foolishness
the bard did something the warrior never expected
she began to think of them as being friends
and friends didn't let other friends live life so dangerously
that they risked life and limb at the drop of a hat
and on a regular basis  leaving her to tend a warrior who
was more than a little bothered by nightmares
every so often but never mentioned
because of the embarrassment involved

but soon things like that weren't quibbled over any more and
the warrior began sharing many things
things the bard wished she hadn't
like her penchant for really evil things
and a list of wrongs that would choke a horse

but it wasn't as if the bard couldn't put two and two together
what with people trying to kill the warrior left and right
even her dear old mother who turned out to be just as stubborn
and ill tempered as her daughter
but there was love in her stone heart
so the bard knew there must be some in her child

soon the friendship offered was reciprocated
and in one moment of certain death three little words
were exchanged that changed it from being something sweet
into something very rich and deep and everlasting

the words 'soul mate' were bandied about and the two women
had to face the fact that they were destined to be together
for all eternity in one shape or another
and so they went along fighting the good fight
and trying to clean up the messes the now redeemed warrior
had left behind her

but can you truly find redemption
perhaps only in the arms of a bard
which is what I believe she did although I have no proof
other than a touch a glance a shared bath or three
and more words of love

but it didn't matter because having removed the mantle of evil
the warrior found herself wearing one of heroism
which didn't quite sit right with her
that dirty old battle lust still roaming around in her veins
but something else was flowing  the juices
urging her to enjoy the new life she found and the good
woman who gave it to her

you can take the warrior out of the fight but you can't
take the fight out of the warrior for long or even short
because truth will always out
and spending a lifetime to atone for this kind of behaviour
is always a risky business at the best of times
how much is enough
and who decides

why the warrior does of course
she who knew the truth would come and bite her in the butt
sooner or later and had only one hope
that the bard wouldn't be painted with the same damned brush
and end up being thrown out with the bath water
anointed with the pain she always lived with but hoped
to leave behind

they found themselves in one scrape or another
and the bard was pretty sick and tired of the good fight
so she tried to see a future for them where pain wasn't involved
but the warrior knew not to deny her destiny
it would be found at the end of a sword

although she tried valiantly to convince
the now much improved warrior bard
that things would be better if she would just go home
she also knew that her dark path
was entwined with blonde tresses
and so she let the woman follow
where angels and demons feared to tread
facing down one foe or another until even the heavens
felt her wrath

but there was no redemption although it was promised
and partially given if you really squint and believe in such nonsense
but still the warrior moved on down the road
understanding that she could never do enough
that the scales would never be in balance

and so she took up a losing cause one that would mean certain death
probably sick and tired of the good fight too
after all she'd lost almost everyone she'd ever cared for
had vanquished every known villain in the land
and finally found a bit of peace within herself

it was time to hang up the sword and die the good death
the death every warrior dreams of:
sword in hand and teeth bared
taking as many down as you can
before being counted out

which is what she did
and the bard cried out for the hero
because she knew the hard fight had been won
and the scales had been finally tipped in the warrior's favour
and now that she was dead the warrior could relax
and actually live the first moments of her adult life
without pain
wrapped in the sure knowledge that love would keep them together
because the bard had written it so
and everyone knows things happen precisely as they should

(c) Trish Shields

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