Allegiance

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

They called her Allegiance.

Contract and insurance, she was. Revered and guarded, both.

So well revered and so well guarded, in fact, that with time she became almost forgotten and had turned more a symbol than a soul. She sometimes wondered if she was in that way not too dissimilar to many of her kind through time, even if they had been so for far shorter spans.

Women often were made ornamental. Used as symbolic pawns, utilized as cementers of allegiances, then blamed for those that broke.

It helped her feel less lonely, knowing that even in her immortal isolation she was still in some way a member of a community of others who’d been perched into positions, as she was, without much of a choice. Possessions and producers, keepers of the continuity of power, serfdom and thrones.

They called her Allegiance.

And she sat in her fortified tower, aware of the two rows of guards: One row looking out against any who may get it in their minds to sabotage, the other row looking in against any indication that she may get it in hers to leave.

They needn’t have worried. At least not about her.

There was enough of misery without adding heads to spikes in any kind of rebellion, where those most likely to be harmed were those least likely to have been given part in the decision.

She accepted her place. A figurehead to keep the heads of others firmly on their shoulders and their children’s hearts safer from the sorrows of orphanage and war.

So she stayed.

As centuries passed, those who’d placed her there took less care with guarding her and the promises she’d represented. The tower crumbled. The guards played cards and drank and slept and grew lazy, and she took comfort in knowing that at least this meant they weren’t in battle. Even if she shivered, windowless, her walls crumbling all around.

Perhaps, she thought, as winds whistled and the stories of her had become lore printed onto metal plaques for tourists to ignore, it was all as it should be.

Perhaps one day there will not be a need.

Perhaps one day allegiances will be built-in, rather than built-up and set with guarded fences that time and lassitude and apathy were certain to erode.

Till then, Allegiance waited.

For the moment, the ruins of her tower stood.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

In The Years

ian-schneider-PAykYb-8Er8-unsplash

Photo: Ian Schneider on Unsplash

 

In the years full of sorrows

They held on to the

Joys,

From the years when the

Smiles were more frequent than

Oys.

 

In the years where

Frustration

Overtook hope or

Peace,

They held on to conviction

That life can evil

Resist.

 

In the years where the wrong

Bloomed in hate

Unconcealed,

They held on to the truth,

So harm may be

Revealed.

 

In the years where they saw

Order crumble,

 Laws evade,

They held on and remembered:

Hope finds way,

Light’s ahead.

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: year

 

 

The Great Loss

 

“Did Great-Grandpa really fight in the Great War?”

“He did.”

“What made it great, Mama?”

She sighed. This place’s heaviness only settled thicker during the holidays. She’d come every year on Christmas as a child. Too infrequently since. The ocean’s breeze whipped hair into the boy’s eyes and she tucked a lock behind his ear. He so reminded her of herself.

“Grandma Rose said it was because the Heavens everywhere lit with the great number of souls and broken hearts. The Great Loss, she called it.”

“A lot of Christmas angels, Mama?”

“Perhaps so.”

“I think Great-Grandpa is one, though.”

 

 

Note: Dedicated to all who are missing loved ones during the holidays, to all who are no longer with us for they’d given their lives (or parts of their souls) for others, in search of peace, in hope of no more war or hate or greed. May we do better, as a species. Let there be true peace on Earth.

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

(Thank you Sandra Cook for the evocative photo prompt!)

 

 

On Hands

cristian-newman-CeZypKDceQc-unsplash

Photo: Cristian Newman on Unsplash

 

To hug or to press

To hold and caress

To dismiss and impress,

To allow or forbid

To prevent or insist

To farewell and to greet,

To disrupt or respect

To allow or reject

To indulge or inspect,

To stop or invite

To instruct and ignite

To appease or incite,

To disarm and to heal

To pray and reveal:

Hands speak truth

Or conceal.

 

 

Inspired in part by Steve McMurry’s: Silent Language of Hands

 

The Blues

TheBlues NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Stand up

To the dimming of

The light

By cruel

Injustice.

Be the lone voice

If you

Must.

Hold tall

Against the winds

That wish to

Break right

Into wrong

And form

Wrong

Into common practice.

Behold the skies

In blues

And clouded

Sorrow,

Even as you keep

Fighting for

Better today

And a just

Tomorrow.

 

 

 

For July Blues

 

 

Up in Shame

earth desert dry hot

Photo: Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

When the world hollows out

And the sun cooks up blame,

Don’t forget there were times

When we’d known

The con-game,

And yet chose –

To our shame –

Truth’s very core to

Maim.

 

We allowed

A shell-game

To carve the Earth

Up

In flames.

 

 

For dVerse Quadrille Monday: Up

 

Falling Skies

Falling sky NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

The skies aren’t falling

About our ears

In a squall

Of rain,

Nor in white flakes

That slough off

Of clouds

Again.

 

These skies are falling,

Bit by bit,

In tears

Orphaned

By pain,

And lost in hollows

Fed by

Hate

That’s allowed to

Remain.

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: Fall from the sky

 

 

Never Again

Never Again OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

May never again slogans of harm,

tattoo death on hearts, souls, and arms.

 

 

 

Note: On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, when we mourn so many lost to deliberate ugliness that nurtured systemic cruelty and harm … and when some try to deepen horrors by claiming the suffering hadn’t even happened … May we find a path out of hate and violence, and away from whatever catchy slogans used to justify a pseudo-superiority. For in reality, we are all one, and the terror of racism leaves none of us unharmed.

For Linda’s One Liner Wednesday

 

The Eyes Have It

Palawan Island CaneSugar Sweetie DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

There are stories,

In there,

Behind the dark irises’

Glare.

More than words,

Being said,

With her piercing eyes

Instead.

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Eyes

 

Have Heart For A Better Humanity

at the end of a day

Photo: Monique Laats on Pexels.com

 

When a place of worship crumbles

Into hell of gore and pain,

And the sorrows of the many

Become what connects us all again,

Know that care can conquer ugly

And that compassion outdoes hate’s disdain,

As long as we eject terror

To heed the better, deeper call,

That anything that harms our kinship

Diminishes the very core of all,

Just as anything that builds it

Can lead humanity to standing tall.

 

 

For Debbie’s Six Word Saturday