All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

Brauronia

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They dance for you, clad in

the gold of crocuses.

They dance for the bear that was killed,

and honor it—and you—accordingly.

Singing, celebrating,

cheeks aglow with joy under the masks,

under the false faces of the bear that died.

Every girl-child born in that place

grows from infancy knowing

that some day, she will go

to your temple, first racing through the woods,

arktoi in name and face,

wild as the bear is wild,

before coming with the others of her kind

and dancing those slow and solemn steps

that show how the great beast

once walked those same ways,

sleeping and hunting and playing,

your children now

as he was then.

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