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Calais Sword Sestina

At the very darkest stroke of night
Behind the pillars there seeps a whisper
The dense, stale air keeps the men shrouded
But on one face, sweat pools in frantic beads
As the buttery silence is split by his sword
Which slides softly, and, beneath the moon, gleams silver

The reflected rays of moon streak the sky silver
Each a river that slithers through the night
Into his scabbard he slips the sword
It grates, metal on metal, like a whisper
His other hand bears the rosary, a special string of beads
As his midnight cloak keeps him shrouded

By the bricks of the buildings he is shrouded
Abandoned coins at his feet clink silver
His glowing eyes are coal-colored beads
Amidst the obscurity of the night
Ahead of him there rises the signal whisper
And he trudges into the street, gripping his sword

From Calais he has taken this sword
From the windy, rainy elements he has kept it shrouded
By the fold of his cloak, nestled like the sweetest whisper
Tightly around the blade of ornamented silver
Now the weapon keeps him company on this lonely night
As he bows his head and recites his beads

In the high tower a young woman strings beads
On a thread while she waits for the sword
That will mark her entrance into endless night
The bars at the door have the constable shrouded
He listens far below for the exchange of silver
That will precede a hurried, deep-throated whisper

To the freshly arrived man, her death is ordered in a whisper
Her hope drips through her fingers in a thousand splintered beads
The earliest rays of the sun are liquid silver
As the executioner cleans his sword
His facial features by a black mask are shrouded
And daylight bursts out of the forgotten night

The shining, metal length of silver speaks to her in a whisper
As it sears through the air to deliver an eternal night while white knuckles clutch her beads
He cuts through her thin neck with his sword and her future is forever shrouded



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