They call me the Lady of the Keys;
I keep my ways,
keep myself to myself,
and all that is in my keeping
is never more secure
than when only I know why the doors are locked,
what the secrets are behind each one,
and which key opens which portal.
They call me the Weaver;
with my distaff I control the threads of warp and weft,
catching up the fabric of the future
in the tapestry I create;
you think the cloth is merely full of pretty pictures
— or not-so-pretty ones —
but in those skeins of thread and their patterns
I can see all of existence.
They call me Baldr’s mother;
as if to be the creator of a child is such a small thing,
as if anyone can do it;
giving half of your essence to make a new being
is an act of magic and miracle,
and the love involved in doing so is a force of such ferocity
that, to protect him, I was willing to wring oaths
from all of reality;
the pain of my failure is a wound
that will be with me forever;
some days I walk as one already dead.
You may know my stories,
you may collect lost baby teeth, spindles, and old keys,
but some doors only I can open;
some looms will only work for me;
and some children are all the more dear
for having been loved and lost.
In my hands, I hold
the sanctity of home and hearth,
all that was and all that will be,
and the heart of every mother grieving for a fallen child.
Those who dismiss me merely as “Odin’s housewife”
do so at their peril,
and I encourage those who do
to reveal their folly;
such misguided and stupid braggadocio
such dismissal of the power that I hold
— such blatant impiety —
is met with its own reward in time.
If you would, instead, honor me,
care well for the things in your keeping:
your secrets, your future, your children,
for in those things are treasure beyond gold and diamonds,
but also in those things exist
the essence and best blossoms
of all that shall ever be.