My child-eyes saw the girl in the white feathered dress
—and the black horse, hooves sprawled across the orange hills—
a clarion angel, glorious when flying off the great galloping beast
—the horse’s head a spear, its tongue an arrowhead--
her mane-hair streaming, teeth gleaming in a smile,
gripping sword and smoking torch,
striding to riotous victory.
Rosy clouds on a clear blue sky make
her leap joyous, exuberant energy!
My child eyes did not see the bodies
strewn underfoot, butchered limbs and deadened eyes,
crows feasting on the carrion of men,
their forms like hillocks, flowing streams
among the pebbles and the pain. I saw
no burnt trees in her wake, no branches broken
by her power over death, the teeth bared
in a grimace not a grin.
How could I have not known her name?
Eugenia Kim is author of The Calligrapher's Daughter, winner of the Borders Original Voices Award, shortlisted for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Critic’s Pick and Best Historical Novel of 2009 by The Washington Post. Her second novel, The Kinship of Secrets, was an Amazon Literary Fiction Best Book of the Month, a Library Reads best of November pick, and received a Booklist starred review.
The Ekphrastic Review
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