In his absence
She cried silent tears
Under the blazing, summer sun
Her brown eyes searched
For his wandering shadow
For any trace of his steps
But there were none
Warm prairie winds
Left sands scattered
Exhausted, they lay elsewhere
And despite the presence of others
She was all alone.
She longed for his presence
She prayed for his lingering touch
It was too much – to remain waiting
Her lips, parched – begged for his remembered kiss
She tried to trace the shadows of his smile
The way his eyes glimmered
When in her presence
But everything fades in absence.
She cried under the pale moonlight
Of the crescent moon
While memories and longing stirred her heart
Shadows danced around the blazing fire
They told stories, those shadows
Of Blackfoot warrior, brave and proud
He sat astride ponokamita*
And waved goodbye as he raced
Off in the distance
She vaguely remembered
The last glimpse of his smile.
And with all her heart,
She begged for his return
She sat beneath the starry sky
And wondered, did sadness fill his heart?
Did her absence fill him with longing?
Did his soul still remember her lingering touch?
Was it too much – to wander in her absence?
She cried silent tears beneath the light of the moon.
Day came to pass and yet – hope again
Perhaps today he’ll ride triumphant
And when horses were scouted
Far off in the distance
Her heart fluttered in excitement
My love has returned.
As the sun began to decline
In the heat of the afternoon
She waited quietly
In the shade of her tent
She looked busy in her work
But her heart just wasn’t in it
She longed to feel his warm embrace
Her thoughts remained there
And the warriors’ shadows
Crept away from the horizon
It was long – too long
And she could tell from their stance
That something was amiss
The solemn faces spoke of sadness
No war cry shouted
They just slowly crawled back home
Upon one horse, a body draped
It silently rose and fell with the steps of the horse
In her heart she knew
Even in the distance, she was certain
And along they tread, silently
Until finally they made their way home
And tears that wished
To explode from her heart
Finally found their voice
As she held him in her arms
She kissed his bloodstained lips
And wondered what more
Could she possibly lose?
In the lingering heat of the evening sun
They buried her warrior
And in the depths of her sadness
She wailed in regret
But she knew she must carry on
And though she now
Must live on and soon remarry
She found comfort in knowing
He would always be her first
And he loved her with all his heart.
© Sumyanna 2015
Beautiful image courtesy of Morguefile (imma)