Woman wearing billowing black shroud
The Shroud 
by chach, 1992

I wear a coat of strength that shields me from the pain
My armor strong and mighty has kept out wind and rain
The steel has been a brace on which my friends could lean
And the struts have bore the weight of many broken dreams

This mighty suit of mail has protected me from all
Nowhere a weak link or opening for an arrow of hate to fall
The metal bright and fortified shines brilliantly in the sun
To only turn to satin when the day is done

This satin soft and flowing, just black and very plain
Is not the fabric worn by lovers but by those in pain
The black satin provides a shroud for a soul that cannot be touched,
A lonely, wandering figure that has yearned to love so much

The night brings in it protection from piercing, probing eyes
With the dark comes freedom in the hope the soul can rise
Rise to shed the shroud and dance the mighty earth
For a few short hours feeling all she's worth

Far from the eyes that watch her the soul takes wind to dance
Hopping, skipping, jumping, leaving life to chance
It keeps a happy step, runs and flies and soars,
Knowing in the morning it can be no more

Time passes all to quickly and the soul is still alone,
And as the light starts shining, knows it's time she must go home

Reluctantly and sadly the soul brings in its wings
And slips into the armor, you can hear her lightly sing. . .
A song of hope and promise, the tune skips along the air
The soul folds her wings around herself, it all seems so unfair

You see the transformation from the sprite into the shroud
Holding safely, within itself, the soul it guards so proud

The chestplate of the armor closes with a deafening bang
As the sun is rising in the east you can hear the bells that clang
A march for the armored warrior, the song is crisp and loud,
But there is a faint tune in the distance: the death march for the shroud.

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