I rose from my trial and testing vigil
now a knight, God’s holy knight.
His fire was a flame I held within
a tremulous but incandescent light.
I set out from my high stone
seat, now a threatened tower
answering my sovereign's call
to break the Old Ones' power.
For the land was soured with the
bile of evil, bled by a heresy, sharp
as my father’s Damascus blade,
that cut and left its soulless mark
upon their faces, or their limbs, that
scarlet scrawl of Satan’s passing wing
shadowed, then tatooed blue with sin. We
found and burned them in their faerie ring.
We burned them in the towns, with ease. Our
horses drove them to the village square;
flames kissed the magic in them black
as pitch, and let it out with a hissing flare.
Their smell, their cries, they pierced and split
the misty air, deep red-edged as any sword
but we stopped our ears with writ, while in the
crowd, grey monks intoned the Blessed Word.
We watched the Godfires burn ten days
and nights, bright hot and ever brighter still
till I wondered why I felt in me such pain
to see the luminous working of His will.
When all was colorless smolder, ashen silence
I knelt in humbled fear before the priest
who called God's glory down to cleanse my soul;
from all misplaced regret he gave release.
But later at the inn when she brought meat,
somehow it had a smell too wrong to eat.
Mark Kerstetter is hosting today, and has given us the fascinating prompt of entering into another persona, and writing a poem from another's point of view, from inside their skin, as it were. I don't know how successful I've been at completely escaping my own point of view here, but I have made a stab at it.