The Dying Cú Chullainn by Nathan Tompkins

The bronze is pounded,
moulded, cast
into a dying figure lashed
to a lone standing stone,
erect on his gore stained feet
to resist Mebh’s bitter throng.

His shield has fallen to the earth,
the edge digs a shallow trench
in the rock boned mud.

His sword is still grasped
as his final breaths gasp
through weakened lungs,
as his battle crazed strength
ebbs with the blood tide.

He is bent over the rope
tied about his waist.

His shoulder is pierced
by the hungry talons
of the Morrígan’s crow.

Her caws echo across
the chariot churned field
to gleefully mock his hanged corpse.

as she thrusts
her wings to the sky,
waits for him to die.
Nathan Tompkins is a writer and photographer living in Portland, Oregon with his aging dachshund, Yoshi. His work has appeared in two anthologies, and several publications including NonBinary Review, Angle, North West Words, and The Tishman Review. He is also the author of two chapbooks, Junk Mail of the Heart and The Dog Stops here. Yet, the best thing he has done was father a lovely Australian girl, named Jacinta.

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