A Poem from Heide Brandes


Ice Wildlife Choices

When you tried to describe the old gods to me,
I iced over, my eyes glazed like ceremonial pots,
and thought instead of choices, like flavors of pudding,
my favorite kind of wildlife, ways to murder you without getting caught.
Wednesday comes from “Woden’s Day,”  English for Odin.
Odin threw his eye in a well for wisdom, tossing it like a coin on festival day.
He impaled himself as a lover’s ribbon to a tree.
He drove a spear through himself, and found only runes inside.
Like Odin, I think I will be swallowed by a wolf,
But not one named Fenrir, but with names like Frank or Jack,
or like you, with your talk of old gods and crow legends.
A shard of glass from your whiskey is embedded in my eye,
and maybe, Odin and I, we can trade patches like girls trade shoes,
giggle over styles, plot bloody revenge on usurpers and cowards.
I imagine men tied to rocks rolling downhill.
He imagines eagles ripping away nipples and bits.
We drink mead as sweet as those flavors of pudding.
We splinter our lives in shipwrecks of expectation, welcoming death,
because, after all, what else can heroes do when all is lost?

Heide Brandes is an Oklahoma-based award-winning journalist, editor and travel writer who is dipping her toes into the wild world of poetry. Heide started her own freelance writing company in October 2012. She regularly contributes to numerous state, regional and national publications. She has poetry pending in upcoming journals in 2017. Besides freelancing fulltime, Heide is an avid traveler, medieval warrior, hiker, professional bellydancer and bellydance instructor.