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The New Oral Tradition

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"This Time, Three Years Ago"

by Willow Firesong

I was 17 when I wrote this, 3 years after a violent sexual assault on the grounds of an event held by the Society for Creative Anachronism. The perpetrator was a member of the SCA "Chivalry", entitled to wear a knight's belt, but not to put it to the uses he did that night. Time heals, but not all wounds -some injury sites remain the focus for future pain and problems. My ribs will attest to that.
Verses 3-5 are optional, independent of one another, as long as the order of the verses sung is maintained.

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Verse 1:

This time three years ago, you made an error:
You stole from me what I wanted to keep;
You stole my innocence, plundered my body,
Left me to crawl off, as you lay asleep.

Verse 2:

Beaten half senseless, my flesh torn and bleeding,
I crept off silently, to lie in my tent;
Until the horror passed, and with it my memories,
I spent three years with my memory rent.

Verse 3:

I was much younger then, and I thrust from me,
What you had done, that I could not withstand;
Now memory's returned, to walk through my nightmares,
Lighting my ire like a flaming red brand.

Verse 4:

This time three years ago, my weakness cried victim,
To those who'd prey upon young innocence.
I am much stronger now, for self and for others;
Another such incident, I seek to prevent.

Verse 5:

Now I speak openly, to those who would listen,
Of what you did to me, all that I felt;
And if they choose to trust the truth that I tell them,
I ask that they take away, and burn, your white belt.

Verse 6:

This time three years ago, you made an error:
You stole from me what was not yours to take;
Now I curl foetally, striking out blindly,
Until once more I from nightmares awake.

Verse 7:

This time three years ago, you made an error:
You stole from me what was mine for to give;
I lay there in the dark, hoping to die,
Until the morning came, and I chose to live.

Verse 8:

I called on my Mother, The Lady, to shield me;
I called on my Father, Cernunnos above:
For what you stole from me, in lust and in hatred,
Was what they made to be given in love.

Verse 9:

I called on my Father, Cernunnos, for vengeance;
I called on my Mother, The Lady, for aid.
She held me unto her, He gave me weapons:
The Moon is my shield, and the Lightning my blade.

Verse 10:

Come Samhain, at season's change, the Wild Hunt is riding;
Herne at their head, as his hound press you hard.
Hunting you down the years, through stormlight and shadow,
Until you rue the day you harmed a Bard.

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Last updated on January 21, 1999