Call me Brigit. I am a woman of smithcraft.
One side of my face is ugly, the other comely:
you’ll easily recognise me at the smithy
hammering hot iron on an anvil repeatedly
forging lances, swords and daggers. Bellows
blow air fiercely on the fire again and again
as I make chains and instruments of torture.
Call me Brigit. I am a woman of healing.
Summoned to a wedding feast in Kildare,
a bride had scalded her hand on mulled mead,
I gathered and dipped nine bramble leaves
in spring water, laid them on the swelling
and recited a charm of poetic incantation
three times at a sacred well as dusk fell.
Call me Brigit. Some know me as the one
who made the whistle for calling to each other
through the night but I am a woman of poetry.
Poets near and far worship me. Folklore,
myths, legends are my domain and I reign
supreme at dances and festivals with ballads,
proverbs and tales that flame the imagination.
Call me Brigit. My name means fiery arrow.
Through veils of time when green shoots bud
on rohan trees at Imbolc, remember me.
Mary Franklin has had poems published in Iota, The Open Mouse, Ink Sweat and Tears, London Grip, Message in a Bottle, The Stare’s Nest, three drops from a cauldron and various anthologies, most recently three drops from a cauldron: lughnasadh 2015 anthology. Her tanka have appeared in poetry journals in Australia, Canada, UK and USA. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.