- 2007 Quicksilver Quill Award: Best Poetry
An icy wind howled mournfully
Across the barren sea,
‘Til from the fog, a fort emerged,
Entrenched in misery.
The wind diverged upon its shore,
Whose ancient walls and deathly guards
Enslaved a guiltless man.
The man named Black, held captive in
A dismal prison cell,
Was plotting an escape from his
Unending years of hell.
A paper clenched within his hand
Exposed his enemy.
With vengeance burning every nerve
He vowed he would break free.
For years before, the rat betrayed
A brother and a friend,
And Black swore not to rest until
The traitor met his end.
The bitterness consumed him ‘til
He thought of nothing more.
His muscles taut in canine form,
He crouched beside the door.
The moment that the iron bars
Slid open just a crack,
He slipped his scrawny body through
And never did look back.
Through dark and gloomy corridors
The bony canine fled,
While desperate moans surrounded him
From inmates all but dead.
At last, he burst outside the walls
That stole so many years.
The salty breezes filled his lungs
And stung his eyes with tears.
He fled downhill and dove into
The ocean’s icy tide
And made his journey westward with
The night sky as his guide.
The swim was cold and arduous
And many miles in length,
But thinking of the debt he owed
Restored his failing strength.
With every stroke and every breath
He heard a dead man’s voice,
We trust you, Padfoot. Yes, you’re right,
He is the better choice.
With guilt and vengeance driving him
He struggled through the night
Until at last the shore appeared
In morning’s early light.
Collapsing on the gravel beach,
Heart burning in his chest,
He staggered to his feet for he
Could not afford to rest.
His godson was at Hogwarts,
Where the traitor lay in wait
And just one word from Voldemort
Would seal the young man’s fate.
But there was no one else who knew
The traitor was alive
So Black remained the last hope for
His godson to survive.
Ignoring his exhaustion, he
Resumed his journey west,
Refusing to give up until
He’d triumphed in his quest.
He made one final promise as
He broke into a run,
I failed you, James, but this I vow,
I will not fail your son.