Author: Kaja Weeks

Kaja Weeks is a writer, classically-trained singer, and Developmental Music Educator whose work alongside children with autism she considers in some writing, while others reflect the profound effects of being the daughter of WWII refugees who fled a land of rich Finno-Ugric traditions.  “The Wedding of Salme” is a poem derived from one of the most ancient surviving Estonian myths, Starbride (Tähemõrsja), re-created with the author’s personal twist of longing while paying homage to Runo-Verse literary characteristics found in the original language.  Kaja Weeks’ creative writing has previously been published in The New Directions Journal (Choristers of Echo; Paths to Dalaja; Amalia’s Reverie) and The Potomac Review (A Girl’s Singing Nirvana, My Mother’s Voice).

Kaja Weeks

 

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The Wedding of Salme*

 

* Adapted from Tähemõrsja (Starbride), an ancient Estonian runosong

And composed in memory of my mother, Salme M.

 

On a field moist with morning fog,

by a craggy shepherd’s path it lay.

A little hen’s egg, left alone,

no nest, poor thing, just dew.

 

Walking there a widow spied it,

lifted it gently, clutched it closely

into her apron pocket she tucked

the tiny treasure, a chilly shell.

 

Then the egg she did warm,

three months, another and then a day.

The foundling was born, a child emerged,

a girl so sweet and full of grace.

 

Salme blossomed, into beauty

she grew. A maiden chaste who

many courted, wooed with gifts

and begged her to wed.                                                                                    

 

Not to the Sun with fifty horses,

Nor to the waxing-then-waning moon,

but to a celestial suitor, steady and bright,

son of the North Star, she did consent.

 

“Wed, Maid Salme, with Starry Youth,”

I did whisper, hidden in time.

“So airy and light and silver-voiced,

your daughter fine I can be.”

 

The tall wise oaks and dashing alders,

their trailing catkins, roots and branches,

all to your wedding who come, then

my uncles and aunties – my kin shall be.

 

So Salme, in silk, and Star, a-shimmering,

the Cross-Cane danced upon the green,

Thus betrothed, the chariot alit,

they ascended to dwell in the sky.

 

Now fearless and free, I may dance

across earth or foaming sea.

Mother, your shield casts from above,

so constant, so bright, ever on me.