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.
published in The Heartland Review, 2021