She walks toward
swords held crossed above her head
strong legs, proud back
the bagpipes drone and wail, supporting her
carying within it the voices of ancestors
the strength of traditions of a proud people
who tolerate no dishonour
Stopping at the grave site
laying the swords crossed before her
her sword of will and power earned
his of pain and power taken
She leaps in the air
flying feet in warrior rhythm
No preparatory dance this, traditional to prove one’s mettle before battle
This is the battle dance of victory for enemy defeated
the battle dance of survival and the dance of triumph
Leaping over crossed swords as her ancestors taught, she banishes
she honours them and herself
She does what they did,
pinning unquiet ghosts to earth.
Leaping the final complicated steps over and around swords
spinning, then stopping, fists held high, then drawn from sky to waist.
a knot tied.
a battle completed.
She bows and walks away.