“Give me your hand. Take my hand. Don’t you let go. Don’t let go….”
–Samwise Gamgee to Mr. Frodo
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
by J.R.R. Tolkien
When Sam cradled Frodo and asked if he could recall
any orchards in blossom, any birds nesting in hazel
thickets, I never understood why Frodo had to give in
to being naked in the dark, with nothing, no veil to keep
him safe. I never understood the art of giving up
when so near the end. I guess that’s what makes
Sam the wisest and best of them all; if he couldn’t
carry the ring, he knew he could carry his friend.
When the active dying stage begins it is said the dying
will go within a day. At the end, you took five, and me,
I stayed awake and starving. On the last day of your life
I came to cradle your hand; but you could only push mine away.
So close then, you knew I would carry the weight of you,
concede to it, that I would say forever: Don’t go where I can’t follow.
A.k.Padovich received her M.F.A. in poetry from George Mason University in May 2015, where she was an Honors Awardee, Lannan Fellow, and co-Editor-in-Chief and Lead Poetry Editor for So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Literature and Art. In the past she has taught an introductory Literature course on death, crisis, and zombies at the college level, life skills in a Special Education classroom, and the English language abroad in the Russian Federation. Her poetry has been featured in Beltway Poetry Quarterly’s special prose poem issue amongst others. This transplant-Seattlelite now calls the open road her home.