Odin’s Wood, by Richard Ballon

A flicker, like eyes
still and watchful, like stars pricking holes
for the moist night to flood the forest floor,

the mistletoe fell on the altar
like a constellation.  The fire on the stump
coaxed the pink sky to put out its light.

It burned blue as a bruise,
as a varicose vein, as a storm cloud clouding.
I was flung back.  I dared not look up.

One hand touched my cheek, my nose,
my forehead.  Another splayed hand
branded my chest with a five pointed star.

His tongue, an excited foreign animal
nested in my mouth and tasted like smoke,
and was cold, as lightning is known to be.

Every cell shouted,
pushing against invasion, until cauterized
to silence.  The Milky Way exploded inside me.

I knew then why this child of Odin
I would carry, was destined to kill.

Richard Ballon has had poetry published in: Social Anarchism, St. Anthony Messenger, Changing Men, Onionhead, Fellowship in Prayer, Fag Rag, Visions International, The Haight Ashbury Review, Poetpourri,  Zuzu’s Petals, The Lilliput Review and many other literary journals.  He has had monologues published in The Caterpillar Chronicles and The Good Ear Review.  The Estrogenius Festival included two of his monologues in their 2008 Collection. Richard’s theatre work in NYC  has been at The Estrogenius Festival, Stage Left’s: Women at Work, MamaDrama, and Left Out Festivals, EAT’s One Man Talking, One Woman Standing. Other work at Universal Theatre, Provincetown, Devanaughn Theatre, Boston, Dylan Thomas Festival, Chicago, Walking the Wire Festival, Iowa City, Inspirato Festival, Toronto, Black Box Festival, Honolulu, ArtHotel, Montreal, Asphalt Shorts, Kitchener. He is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild.

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