Fate & Faith
One certain evening, some decades ago,
Some girls were trying to foresee the fate.
On Eve of Christmas, as it was well known,
Dreams told the future and made no mistake.
In many buildings almost lost in snow
Light had been twinkling in the shining eyes.
With every rite performed, sweet hopes were growing
Beneath the shimmer of the winter sky.
Now, would you, take a look through one of windows.
You’d see a girl renowned for her grace,
With deep black hair, like the crow’s feathers,
With bright blue eyes on finely featured face.
Just like the others, she believes in magic
Of mystic night before the holy day.
Unlike the others, she could not imagine
That long-awaited dream could go astray.
She has already got a strong affection
For one extremely dear to her heart.
So she could say with little hesitation
That day of their wedding wasn’t far.
The only thing that she was thus expecting
Was to confirm what she already knew.
The dream will show the one that she is meant for;
Who else can that be, if old tales are true?
Inspired, she is blowing out her candle,
And soon she is asleep in comfy bed.
The powers of the night will now awaken;
The sun is gone; the moon is here instead.
A vision is ascending from the darkness.
She’s seeing a familiar landscape.
She’s standing by the river which is sparkling
In glory of an awesome summer day.
She’s stepping on the bridge across the river.
Someone is coming from the other shore.
The world stands still. She moves; she wants to see him,
To recognize the one she would adore.
Her heart has stopped its beating for a second.
Another person meets her on the bridge.
She knows him; but he’s a mere acquaintance.
She’s always been quite out of his reach.
He’s not alone; there is a mare
He leads across the bridge to other side.
As they are talking, quiet horse is staring
At her with its deep black unmoving eye.
This is so wrong. What is he doing here?
Why all the signs are telling he’s the one?
The questions buzz around and feed her fear.
She turns her back to him and starts to run.
Then she wakes up. It’s early in the morning.
The sun is still asleep but will soon rise.
The girl is thinking. Was this dream a warning?
No. No! It can’t be true. These are just lies.
Discarding what she saw, she has decided
That something was done wrong among her rites.
No reason to become too much excited
About blurry visions of the night.
Away, the dreams! The real life is stronger.
No one can stand between the loving hearts.
No forces will be able to take over,
No trouble’s gonna tear them apart.
… It’s been some time. The summer is beginning.
A merry time for anyone in love.
Some walking, dancing, and a bit of kissing
Under the stars that glisten from above.
All of a sudden, happiness was broken.
An evil leader played his wicked game.
A war erupted, and no one could stop it;
Entire western border was aflame.
Attention, people! Capital is speaking.
Invasion started; enemy is strong.
There is no doubt it will be defeated,
We are the right side, and it won’t take long.
The duty calls, and all the men are leaving.
Last words are said, and then – one last embrace.
The ancient pattern is again repeated:
A warrior departs, a woman stays.
The girl we saw before is no exclusion.
Aside she stands, remembering her dream.
She tries her best to look and act as usual,
But she’s afraid - she knows what it means.
She’s having an extremely bad forefeeling.
The one she loves might never make it back.
She’s crying, and she’s running, and she’s screaming –
She urges him to stop and to forget
About the duty, and the battle glory,
To stay with her, so that he would be safe.
Alas! The fate’s already shaped the story.
The grid is ready; pieces are in place.
How could he have been possibly persuaded?
When danger looms, no man would stay behind.
He won’t evade the blow; he would take it –
No matter how hopeless is the fight.
So he has left, together with the others.
Alone then, the girl was lost in grief.
Time ran, though, and she started to recover.
There still was hope; she wanted to believe.
For quite a while, no news came from the frontlines.
The updates on the radio were grim.
Defenses failing, enemies advancing,
Destruction being taken to extremes.
The villagers were anxious and uncertain.
Nobody knew what was in store for them.
To their luck, perhaps – as would they learn it,
The truth would be too bitter to withstand.
The hope is always rooted in the darkness,
In aspects of the picture we can’t see.
A clear image leaves no room for wonders,
For wild imagination running free.
Yet this uncertainty is also evil,
Especially with ones we care for.
Wild guesses and concerns end up with fear,
With desperate desire to know more.
Thus everybody had contrasting feelings.
Expecting news, they were afraid of it.
As every single letter or transmission
Could be a sign of triumph or defeat.
Such was the summer of that horrid year,
The one the whole nation won’t forget.
So many men and women had been dreaming
And making plans – but faced a war instead.
It’s been four years. Enemy’s defeated.
The country celebrates; the nature blooms.
No more aggression from the evil leader –
Deep in his shelter, he embraced his doom.
It’s been a better world since his departure.
No more obsession with the “pure race”,
No dire madness that would kill and torture,
Aspiring to ignite a global blaze.
Brave soldiers have secured happy future
For further generations to descend,
So that new children could adore the beauty
Of flourishing and peaceful home land.
A lot was lost. The cities are in rubble,
The railways and the bridges are destroyed,
And people are worn out by the struggle –
They hide exhaustion under their joy.
Same goes for the people of the village
We’ve left before; they went through tough ordeals
And have endured much before the freedom
Had got another chance to spread its wings.
As enemies had come, and they resided
For many months before they were repelled.
They weren’t exactly harsh, but had the mindset
Of masters being able to command.
They felt as if they could have done whatever
They wanted to the people they controlled.
That’s why the girls were careful like never –
Revealing someone’s beauty was a fault.
These days were hard, and they are still remembered.
Yet better does it feel to celebrate.
The time is an extraordinary mender,
And it will force bad memories to fade.
A bittersweet event will now happen:
Victorious, the men are coming back,
But lives of many fearless defenders
Were taken by the enemy attacks.
Let’s look for pitch black hair in the crowd.
Yes, she is here, with the grieving girls.
She’s quiet. She had too much time for crying.
One day she’ll meet him – in the other world.
She’d seen the letter. It was short but clear.
In some remote place, he fought – and fell.
Back then, the paper soon was wet with tears,
And even now she is not quite well.
Yet every cloud has a silver lining.
The friend from Christmas dream is on his way.
He had been wounded but he had survived it –
Through courage, and austerity, and faith.
He overcame the might of the aggressor,
And he is ready for his final fight.
He’ll try to win the love of girl he fancies,
The one we have been watching from the start.
It took much time but still he had succeeded.
With gentle care, he could soothe her pain.
They have been married, and they have been living
For many happy years since that day.
The girl had chosen to dismiss her vision,
But anyway the prophecy was true.
The magic of the night fulfilled its mission,
And everything took place when it was due.
This is the story I was told on Christmas.
The couple were the ancestors of mine.
For many, war meant death and sorry feelings,
For our kin – beginning of the life.
If peace were kept, the girl would have then married
The man she loved before, the other one.
It honestly feels strange to be aware
That our paths could never have begun.
Yet anyone’s existence is a sequence
Of random unpredictable events,
So each and every link could have a weakness
And break the chain in its entire length.
The history is what already happened.
It leaves no room for questions like “what if”.
This means that doubts probably don’t matter,
Just like the people that had never lived.
We might be making independent choices,
Or following a pattern or a plan.
What version is correct? Maybe, as always,
The truth is right between the two of them.