Everyday Riddles

by Rosa Campbell


I am wax on the water, wave-pilot,

night-thane. My reign is pale and wan

next to my star-sister, and so I shrink,

and daily abdicate the inky throne.



Scour the skies for me when you need

a single helping hand. For I am a bright

battle-light, last stand in a fight and

my arrow will guide the way to glory.



Look for me in king-lists: ninth father,

founder-prince. Wooden world-watcher

with one eye trained on the other and

weather overflowing my meadhall cup.



You’ll find me in the fields, friend. I am

hammered steel, homegrown Hercules.

Or else out in the dust of Thunder Road;

goat-towed, a hot-rod hometown god.



I am an act of love and a violent death;

blood-gold spills free from my eyes. I

have shares in sisters, milk-magic,

there for half a soldier’s homecoming.



Interloper I, liberated from Latin and

golden age guest. I keep the Sabbath

in my own tradition: shackles slacken

and we will reap in time’s ripeness.



I am southern-born, but look for me

in the northern midnight, moving

slow as a petulant child sent to bed.

I am flash-flood, flare-gun, flame.