Mors Imperatix- Eric Syrdal

MorsImperiatrix ESThey said
her beauty
had the power
to strike a man’s
tongue
dumb in his mouth

The potency
of this innate
quality of
Her Majesty
is no more diminished
by death’s embrace
than the brilliance of
our twin suns
are diminished
by the striking
of a flare

She was 18
when I was pulled
from my duty
aboard “The Valiant”
the flagship
of our grand armada
a post of prestige

I was
reassigned…

as one of four
fence posts…
mandated to stand
at her
right hand
forward position

Whenever she left
the palace…

Whenever she left
the dinner table…

Whenever she left
the lavatory…

A guard dog
to watch over
a female pup

as she learned
poise

as she learned
balance

as she learned
ceremony

until her father
would produce a son…

then she would
learn to spend the
days at court
or at the country estate

and I would be
relieved of
my idle nursery post

and would
again take my place
on the deck of a starship

she was 23 when
the fleet was ambushed at
the herculean nebulae….

When the stars ran red
with human blood
and the sky on
a thousand terran worlds

Fell…

Fell on the strong and weak alike
Fell on the sick and the healthy
Fell on adults and children
and our Empire began to burn
Our strength was shattered
when we lost our leader

The Emperor
was a ghost in our terrified hearts
and the crown was passed to a woman

This woman

as she lies on this bed of crimson roses
….even now…

though my eyes cannot focus through the salt sea
swelling in them …

I can feel her powerful beauty
radiating through the air around me

as I march in lock step
with this honor guard
and we bring her to rest beside
her father
I remember her grace…

when a war was thrust upon
her young, slender shoulders

Before the Crown
had set within the raven curls
of her head

She sought my council
for an answer to staunch
the hemorrhaging wound
that was our legacy
to draw an elixir
to cure us

I remember with
tear-stained cheeks
how she held the crown of Orion
in her lap
with one alabaster hand

And with the other
she gripped my forearm
so tightly
I could feel her heartbeat
through the warmth of her palm

It was not the panicked
thundering
of a addled child

She did not bolt
as does the hart
when sprung by hounds

She
in a quiet voice
full of resolve and fierce flame
ordered the fleet to advance

like so many slivers of broken glass
under the feet of those
who would tread upon us
our enemies
reaped our retribution
a thousand fold…

After we crushed
the opposition
and their armada lay
in smoldering ruin
lifelessly orbiting barren rocks

It was I who lead
the search for her
crippled command carrier

My loyal ears
were pained to hear
that she had been taken
from us..

from me…

As the bridge had been breached
sudden decompression
crushed the life from her lungs

But in the
giving of her life
so did she bring Life
to her people
and hope to an empire

As the last
booming echoes
of our salutes fade
I image them
to be her footfalls
as she exits this universe
to conquer the next

and my heart…

…she will carry with her


Eric Syrdal is an independent poet/author. He’s an avid gamer and Sci-Fi enthusiast. He enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy literature and spends a great deal of his writing time focused in those genres. He is from New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives with wife and two children.  You can read more Eric’s writing at My Sword and Shield….

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