Tania Pryputniewicz

Mordred’s Dream: A Refusal

         (Mordred to his mother Morgayne)

I stand barefoot in the darkening woods.

Your horse bears down. His hooves crescent

the dirt, casting rinds of Earth on my feet

as he circles, one more animal bent

to your will. From muscled halves

of his chest, heat radiates. Your slight

boot and rim of cloak skim my cheek.

I’m no hunter, mother, nor simple quarry, nor witch

like you. Guinevere paces her battlements

at dawn when Arthur’s gone, just a girl

in pale slippers like falcon hoods,

so lethal, so light. Were I to be mortally

wounded, would Avalon’s ferry

halt for me? Unsmiling in your saddle

above, a planetary cold in your eyes,

you begin your fade; outlines of oak trunks

reassemble in the air your horse occupied,

the rowan fringe of your lips.

From November Butterfly, by Tania Pryputniewicz (Saddle Road Press, 2014). Front page author photo by Irene Young.

Tania Pryputniewicz’s debut poetry book, November Butterfly, is forthcoming November 2014. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the Managing Poetry Editor at The Fertile Source. Her poems have appeared in Linebreak, The Mom Egg, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Tiny Lights, and elsewhere. Her award-winning micro movies feature poetry paired with the photography of Robyn Beattie and the music of Stephen Pryputniewicz. Her micro movie version of “Mordred’s Dream” can be found at Her introduction on making micro movies can be found at She lives in San Diego, California.

— posted July 2014

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