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Warrior Ways

by C.A. McCord

She thunders towards him on a golden horse,
moonlight glinting on her sword.
He swings his axe and she strikes: the hilt of her
sword clipping his temple.
He falls, moaning.
"I would have killed you--before," the dark-haired
warrior says,
Then she wheels her horse and races away;
Her friend is waiting by the fire.

The young bard is thinking-another tale is brewing,
but the words refuse to come.
They never do when Xena is away--
"I wish I could have gone with her," Gabrielle
says, then sighs and dozes.

Hoofbeats wake her, and she leaps to her feet
as Xena strides to the fire.
"Are you hungry," Gabrielle asks and Xena shrugs-
"Subduing warlords is hungry work," Gabrielle
chatters, stirring the soup.
The warrior grunts and sits by the fire,
stretching her long legs out.
She smiles as Gabrielle gives her the soup
And listens while Gabrielle tells her the tales-
tales of war and hardship,
compassion and love.
As her friend's voice drones on
the warrior sleeps, smiling.

The fire flickers down to embers, and Gabrielle's
tales are at end. She sits by the warrior,
leans her head on her shoulder,
and the forest is quiet at last.

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