Name Day

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Name Day

by Culix

They say it makes no difference which knot you tie; you cannot save your child.

Her wrinkled face shines up at me, eyes shut. Belly full, finally, she begins her first slumber. The sun’s rays kiss the treetips, and I have no time.

They say it makes no difference.

Tis the noblest desire, to want the best for our children. To see them grow and live and love. To see them become wondrous; make the wood a better place. To see them have their own children. To know: you succeeded. The village is safer in their hands.

Mayhap that world exists. Somewhere, through time, beyond the wood. But not here.

    a Strider’s knot
    at ankle height
    to show the path
    that’s true and right

Will she die in the forest? Will I gift her that? A young death. Few reach the rank of master. But the noblest path, some say, to make the woods a better place.

I cradle the warm bundle in my arms. She coos softly. I would stretch this moment forever.

    the Blossom’s Heart
    atop the crown
    a parent’s gift –
    to soar, or drown

It eases the ache, some say. Accept the call from birth; know the wood will claim her. Hold the knowledge in your heart. Refuse her a name. When called, it is easier, they say.

But to give her up. Without a fight. I cannot.

And the wilting ones. Offered, but not taken. Never called. A punishment to child and parent. A reminder: the wood is not to be beckoned.

They say it makes no difference.

    a Stitch of Herth
    from home to tree
    a hero’s stand
    or coward’s plea?

Keeping her. The noblest desire. Defiance. My heart weeps for her to stay with us, always. To grow old and see her there.

But when the woods close in, and our blades lack for a trained hand, it is I who put her there. Her death is my doing. or she may be called, in fair course or for spite.

They say it makes no difference.

Stars begin to twinkle. Colors fade. Her tiny breaths come so easily. Mine are heavy struggle.

I have no time.

    Memory’s Love
    by blood, a gift
    each day retold
    whence time adrift

I bare the cloth on her tiny arm, and place the strand around it. The knot is tied.

I tie a second. Wreath my neck.

I choose love. I will not send her unknown unto a path. Her path will come. Be it that she die in the forest, or heed the call, or stay. I will love her.

Each day with her is treasure most precious. For each I add a knot. This will be my noblest deed, to wait for her path with open arms. And die knowing: we had days together.