Tag Archives: Tests

‘Tests’ by Art Metzger

Here I sit,
newborn and old…
older than old…
a crone,
ugly and wrinkled as a gutter plum.
I sit, in this new old chair,
rickety and rocking,
in front of a hovel minutes old,

Soon hoof-beats I’ll hear.
Far off,
then closer,
splashing across a stream,
until a white horse will appear
galloping through the gorse,
and, on his back,
a Hero, questing.
Mail glinting in the sun,
sword shining
(useless in the end,
though he knows it not, yet.)

I will beckon him then.
He will stop, dismount, and ask me, politely,
(though his quest calls to him)
what he can do for an old goody like me.
Three favors I’ll ask of him,
simple tasks.
Fetch me water from the well.
Build a fire in the old stove.
Catch me a fish.

All these he’ll do, and gladly,
asking nothing in return,
and when he turns to leave
I’ll stop him
and give to him three gifts:
a tortoise shell,
a stalk of wheat,
and a tiny, tiny cage.
I’ll tell him that, when the time comes,
he’ll know their use.
Then, thanking me, he’ll ride off,
hoof-beats fading in the distance,
and, when I hear them no longer
I will be gone…
hovel, well, stream, and crone,
gone in the blink of an eye,
leaving the land bleak and empty
as it had always been.
My task will be done,
and the ending will be well.

Copyright 2016 by Art Metzger. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission.