*Photo by –FlyTrapMan–


She stood in front of him.

Her shield on the ground.

Unguarded thoughts tumbling.

He listened without interrupting.

Words cutting through the fog,

and for the first time he could see

into a soul once shattered –

yet so close to being whole again.

When she finished speaking,

she trembled.

He made a move towards her,

but the shield was back in her hand.

She turned away.


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  1. Talhoffer’s buckler (a type of shield) is classically depicted in Talhoffer’s fighting manual, but I don’t think too much is known about it. The buckler’s holly-leaf design was directly influenced by an actual holly-leaf — however — the shield in the image is larger than the shields illustrated in Talhoffer’s manual:

    She certainly has a formidable shield! \”/

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s certainly a beautiful shield and looks heavy. That link you supplied was fascinating to read that fencing during the medieval era was very much like martial arts. I guess that makes sense as it entails close combat. The death blow sounds crazy the way you repeatedly hit the opponent with the hilt. How strange to have to hold the sharp blade while inflicting injury like that.

      Is that bulbous shape in the center used to deflect the sword? I think it would make a fierce head butter! Lol.

      Thanks so much for commenting on your amazing Talhoffer’s Buckler. I think Piglet’s impressed by it, as well. πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha — you noticed the photobombing Piget! Hawkeye sees everything \”/

        Europe had a very sophisticated style of martial arts, which is rarely depicted in film or literature. There are a variety of counter-intuitive ways of holding a longsword — gripping a sharp blade is possible

        Yes — that’s called a shield boss — it has a variety of functions. Protecting the hand, deflecting blows and delivering them.

        Here’s a video explaining how half-swording was accomplished:

        Liked by 1 person

        • Shield boss. Nice term.

          In the video, I felt sorry for the man in the armor. The guy in red was pretty aggressive with him, because he thought he could be since he was in full armor! Those hits must’ve made his ears ring and his head bang against metal. I can see now how the hilt can be even more effective than the blade when the opponent’s wearing armor. Fascinating.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. This character appears to have developed a sense of self and an ability to express defiance. I question whether the shield and its message of warning was not to protect “him” rather than her from future encounters. In this short piece you have shown character development as strength AND weakness. Both components are needed to complete a person. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sir Jonathan scores yet again! πŸ˜€ I like to think of her as much stronger of a character than even she had ever realized. You talk about attaining balance in ones life, and I think she’s just about there — as long as she stops picking on the pumpkin pie. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. wonderfully composed. the ending spoke to me a truism that we can’t just let our guard down completely, too many wounds, still healing — “yet so close to being whole again” — that we have to do such encounters in the infamous ‘baby steps’.


    • Thank you! I believe the East Coast is doing wonders for you! You’ve always had an amazing grasp of people’s work, but you are certainly on cue every single time. I’m happy that you’re in a place where you’ve found love and support. ❀


  4. Great poem. She’s not going to be hurt again. Perhaps it’s a shame she’s was not willing to take a chance on him, though.

    Still, he got off lightly. I was worried that last line was going to be something like, “And she walloped him so hard across the face, he did a double backflip before hitting the ground.”

    Liked by 1 person

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