I, Cuchulainn


By Stephen Reid (Eleanor Hull, The Boys’ Cuchulain) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


I, tied to a post, await them, my enemies who’ve killed me at last. I’ll stand my ground against them to the end. Not much longer, now. My blood-stained blade, heavy in my hand one last time. My torn tunic saturated with mine and my last friend’s blood.


Look, there come the chariots, halting. The first killer approaches, smiling.


They have forgotten my stand at the fjord where Connaught man after Connaught man fell, their blood spreading through clear water until it ran as red as a sailor’s delight. Lost to all the tale of my return from my first battle, when I immersed in three baths before my red-faced rage turned against my own.


Will anyone remember me?


Will they know how I took the place of Cullen’s hound, that man-killer I killed as a child, earning this name men came to fear? Or am I just another warrior whose head will be the trophy of just another warrior soon to be forgotten?


last light

a crow flies over

blood-stained grass


A late entry for  Real Toads’ If You Meet A Hero on the Road, imagined by Brendan. Morgan Llewlan’s Red Branch inspired this poem-turned-haibun.




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