"Challenge" by Sergei Rukavishnikov

Alenka Co

Stonebow, Australia

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Artist's Description

She stands upon the lake and waits
waits for his return
it’s where she stood the day he left
the day he left was a day like this
when water is ice
when trees are bare
when land and sky blur into white
and the stillness of snow is in the air
a day like this two winters ago
when he held her close
held her close and promised he’d return.

She keeps her vigil while seasons change
and winter comes again and again
they tell her she should wait no more
wait no more, for he is dead
and the dead cannot return
but if he were dead, she would know
she would know, she would feel
feel his last breath upon her lips
the last beat of his heart in hers
she knows his promise he will keep
she knows he will return.

This day they pleaded she not go
the air too still, as if aware
aware of the blizzard on its way
but today of all days she must be there
today is two years to the day he left
and she knows not how but knows she does
today will end with her held close
held close in his arms one more time.

So here she stands upon the lake
blood red the colour of her robe,
blood red the standard that she holds
blood red, they stand against the white
a signal to him from afar
so he will know that she is here
will know the vigil she has kept
will know she is waiting for his return.

She stands firm when the blizzard comes
black hair and red robe swirl and whip
clenched fingers numb around the pole
she doesn’t feel the cold
he has returned as he promised he would
to hold her close, feel her last breath upon his lips
the last beat of her heart in his.

‘Vigil’, my first attempt at a narrative poem, was inspired by the image Challenge by Sergei Rukavishnikov

Artwork Comments

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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