He came back older, leaner, both of those;
And harder, too, as if he’d been through
Some great fire and had a softness
Burned from him.
Not that he’s hard.
You couldn’t find a gentler, kinder man –
And well respected! Why, he’s walked with kings,
Not that you’d know it.
Not hardness, then, but maybe something else,
The feeling that the world is small and safe?
Is that the thing he lost?
He doesn’t talk, though, of that journey
And the things he saw. And did.
The others do –
They laugh and joke about it all. Not him.
And when his master left? I know he would have gone,
If he’d been asked. I know it tore him up.
But he came back to us. To me.
I keep him safe. What can I do? I cannot share
The story that he carries in his heart.
But I stand by him when his gaze grows long
And I know that he’s seeing mountains, monsters, flames;
And I am there, those nights he shouts out in his dreams,
And then I hold him, keep him close,
Wrapped in my strong, warm arms.
Lord of the Rings is a big thing in our house. I’ve always had a very soft spot for Sam Gamgee, who comes home after his adventures and settles down with Rosie Cotton. It’s a happy marriage, but he’s not the hobbit he was when he set out – he’s grown in many different ways. I suspect it can’t always be easy to love a hero. Over at D’verse, Kim is keeping bar for the very first time and has asked us to write about spouses of famous fictional or non-fictional characters.