Sarita Armstrong


The Talisman

(part 2 – a waking dream)


‘Twas three months later I returned unto the smoke-dark yurt.

A courteous welcome as before, the elder woman seated

On my right. “Your right hand has a wound” she said, her tone

Not harsh, not soft, nor conciliatory. “How came it thus?”

It was a while, I realised, since I’d heard her speak my name.


“The talisman is safe,” I said. “It sits within my tent.”

“I know,” said she. “It gathers dust upon your mantelshelf.

It matters naught if here or there, for you know not its use.

The talisman is rightly yours, to use for your whole clan;

But without wisdom I could give, it’s naught but a pretty stone!


But tell me first, how came you by this wound?” I frankly said:

“It was the dog. I had not understood – an animal will an animal be

And as I took the marrow bone – the talisman – from him …”

“Ah! Animals will animal be – it’s ever thus and should be understood.

Come sit beside me, child,” she said, “and let me tend the wound


That festers in your hand. And then I’ll heal your heart.”

I took the ragged bandage off; the young man herbs and potions brought.

She sighed and mumbled at the wound and straight away I felt

A slumber come upon me. The wound well-dressed with linen white

At last I slept untroubled sleep, my hand still in her lap.


As I awoke she kindly looked upon me lying there.

“Your right hand is for wisdom, and a good true hand it is,

But if you do not comprehend, it’s naught but a wounded hoof!

I’ll teach you, daughter, if you will but open up your heart

And still your mind; let in the Light by pulling back your blinds.


Each one has its own nature and all each creature asks

Is to be understood as such, with true compassion given.

You have the strength; the trust was true – but trust is not enough.

You have the talisman: brush off its dust and use it well,

Then you may start to learn to be Wise Woman of your Clan.


© Sarita Armstrong 2008