Her face is grief.
Her raiment is glory.
Her left hand is death.
Her right hand is life.
And her bare feet trail blood across every land.

The instigator who urges warrior to battle,
the spark that lights the flame,
the voice of fury and revenge,
the conflict that promotes growth,
the warrior who guards her family and her land,
the eye that bears witness to bravery and sacrifice,
the protector of the dead,
the shaper of civilizations,
weaver, weapons-smith, wise-woman, lover, mother.

She goes by a myriad of names, revered and feared in every culture.
She bears a different face in the minds of all men.
Hideous, beautiful, grieving, glorious, furious, exultant.
She is Helen of Troy, Boudicca, Trieu Thi Trinh, Joan of Arc, Tomoe Gozen.
She is every woman who joins the military,
every mother who fights to protect a child,
every lover whose memory comforts a soldier.
Athena, Kali, The Morrigan, Oya, Izpapolotl, Neith, Eris, The Valkyries.

The spirit of wind and fire and darkness and freedom and the endless dance of time.

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.