Branwen

 

Welsh goddess of love, she’s called Blessed Raven.

Her story ends in grief: a broken heart

from an unhappy marriage, found no haven

 

in blood, either. One brother a craven

controlling type who manages to start

a war in Branwen’s name, Blessed Raven.

 

The other brother, Welsh king, so brave and

protective, puts his horse behind the cart

when he finds sis has found no haven

 

in Ireland; in fact, she’s a slave in

the royal kitchen. War tears them apart—

Welsh, Irish—in her name, Blessed Raven.

 

They all die, but Branwen doesn’t cave in

until landing in Wales, her tears a chart

of sorrow. Sad marriage is no haven.

 

She lost two countries, became a maven

of death—summoning birds became her art—

dark goddess of love, known as Blessed Raven,

perhaps found peace in death, a calm haven.

Welsh gravestone.jpg

published in The Heartland Review, 2021