Ancient Memories

We are so different,
I wear the softest buckskin,
You wear a breastplate of armor.
I lead you deep into the forest beside the river.
My spirit beckons you to be free and playful.
We chase each other and laugh.
We reach a clearing on a hill, my sacred space.
Suddenly, we become solemn and hold hands.
As we look out into the beyond,
you gently stroke my hair, straight and black.
It’s the same as it was long ago, in another place and time.
I can’t understand the words you speak and you can’t understand me.
We communicate nevertheless.
Our eyes, our hearts, speak endless truths,
of ancient histories and timeless love.
We are surrounded by trees and grasses of deep green
but as we lower ourselves to the ground I am returned to sand and stone.
A monumental temple.
Eyes carved into rock watch from every direction.
Ancient memories of learning and ceremony.
We know the ritual as if by magic but it is only from memory.
You remove your armor for me alone, holding me close, heart to heart.
I know I shouldn’t.
You are too old for me.
You are not my kind.
Instinct takes over as the knowledge returns.
Electricity pricks my skin at your touch.
The sound of drums beats in my head.
I know you by many names.
Your scent is so familiar and comforting to me.
Our passion is strong yet you are so tender.
You treat me as though I may disintegrate into the dust of that other place,
that other world of long ago that is moving in and out of my consciousness.
I know you have never known another woman in this way, with this depth of love.
Grabbing your face, I look searchingly in your eyes.
I see us in that other place reflected there.
I know you are remembering, too.
My chest burns as if one fire.
You pierce my soul and the energy bursts from my ribs.
Finally that shell has been cracked open, freeing me.
I have taken my armor off for you.
We are one soul once more.
We are neither in the forest nor the dessert.
We are in heaven, flying, free.
Afterward, when we have returned to earth, I hear the call of an eagle.
Though the sun is bright, I see two eagles soaring and dancing around each other.
You see them, too.
That is our souls, you whisper in my ear.
Somehow, I understand what you have said.
I already know you will leave me.
You worry for me.
I feel it stronger as you again stroke my hair.
I can hear your thoughts.
You don’t want to change me, to take me away from this place and my people.
Here, you tell yourself, I am free. Protected.
You have a duty.
You will sacrifice the happiness of us both for honor.
You know your ways will kill me.
Ironically, they will anyway, even without you.
You can’t protect me from that fate.
What you don’t recognize is that I am already dead without you.
You will be dead, too.
Having found this, what we have just shared, it is the only way for us to truly live.
We can move on but nothing can ever be the same or replace it.

Many lifetimes have past since that day yet here I am once again walking on that river bank.
I’ve been guided here to remember it all.
Reintegrating what pain has kept hidden for centuries.
I allow the energy to flow through me.
What flows through me, flows through you.
We are one.
You will always have my heart, you stole it that day in the swaying grass.
Or was it in a dusty temple on the other side of the world?
Hearing the call I look skyward.
Two bald eagles soar overhead.
You may run away from me again and again.
You may choose another or talk of honor.
But don’t ever lie to me and say you don’t remember ancient memories,
for our souls still soar here together.

Written by Marla Kelly                                                                                                                                                                                             July 17, 2018
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