The snow drifts round about me,
but I do not move;
I feel each snowflake landing
a feather kiss of cold,
whitening my hair, my shoulders, my arms.
Once, I would have been surprised
that I could stand here, thus,
a young man, so sure
that there was so much at stake,
so much I needed to do,
so much to fill inside of me.
But now there is nothing now I lack,
nothing to prove,
and I am free
to stand and watch the snow.
The earth is cold beneath my feet,
buried under its white blanket,
hiding all its flaws,
all the life's blood that it drank,
that I offered it.
I remember the smell,
the sounds, the fear,
but that too has passed.
Who will remember all the mighty deeds
we wrought with bronze and iron and steel?
We thought they were mighty
as we sat around the fire,
drinking our ale,
and the harpers played and sang our deeds,
and the bereft women wailed
and the crows fed.
Who will remember?
Even I, standing in the snow,
have forgotten their names,
Why - I have my whys.
Why do I not vanish in the mist?
Why does the sun not melt me in the morning?
Why do I stand here and watch,
feel the snow fall, and the sunshine,
and watch the children playing,
and the young men, dance each year
the songs of their bravery,
and watch them tell their mighty deeds,
then fade away,
falling in their own myths?
My fate then, to have tried,
and failed, and witnessed,
a witness who can warn no one,
tell no one,
The gods laugh,
and I watch the snow fall.