Second submission to the Nerthus Agon
The Heifer Praises Nerthus
(by Dr. E. Kelly)
I pulled Her holy wain from the shore to the furthest farmland.
My thick and white-hided neck was looped with flowers. My horns bore bells. The priest watched the luscious blink of my long lashes, and the swinging tassels of Her linen drape.
Quiet now are the sacred axles. The wagon no longer creaks on the long and peaceful road.
Now my face looks down on sacred earth. Sod and grass enough to fill my belly are here, slowly taken one bite at a time.
The last bubbles ripple from the lake surface, steely grey sky striped black with moss.
Servants dance slowly in the marsh, limbs aloft in the waters that had so recently washed Nerthus’ face.
Ask what the sight can be that only those doomed to die may witness.
Birth runs backward. Their bodies settle into the Mother’s black flesh.
This is too holy to watch.
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