His years of duty ended,
still the captain stood watch
over his king,
night after night.

Hung in honor on the wall,
the iron-forged blade
the captain once wielded
in the king’s defense.

In the captain’s hands
that blade’s twinned shadow,
both sword and man reduced
to air and captured moonlight.
— Mary Soon Lee



Mary Soon Lee was born and raised in London, but now lives in Pittsburgh. She has won the Elgin Award and the Rhysling Award for her poetry, and has had over three hundred poems published in markets ranging from the American Scholar to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A dozen of her poems may be read at

Editor’s Notes: Image is a collage of the Sword of Goujian, the real king’s sword, a dragon, and the B&W Nagoya Castle by Moonlight by Philip Hunt.

See also the YouTube on the sword: