I met Nyri at the Philly Trans Health Conference (now called the Philly Trans Wellness Conference) in 2015, the only time I attended it. We’ve managed to stay in touch since then, though we’ve drifted out of contact to some degree in the last year or two, something I need to fix.
July 2018, in Catonsville, Maryland
To my eye, the gods have blessed you thrice,
for they have given you three great honors:
a warrior’s strength, a bard’s voice, and a cat’s tenderness,
and so I am thrice-honored to be your friend.
No one who is wise hopes for cause to take the sword,
but you have more than wisdom:
in this troubled world, you have shown me
strength beyond what I can know,
the valor of a lioness standing guard
for her sisters and her cubs.
No strong warrior takes joy in a retreat,
but you have more than strength:
as our world falls apart,
your words and stories have been a ray of hope
to spur the faith and memory
that keeps the oppressed alive.
No sweet-tongued minstrel can fight the dark alone,
but you have more than songs:
your loyalty and tenderness
help keep your friends alive,
even as you keep your claws at ready,
willing to defend them with blood if need be.
Thus I am thrice-honored to be your friend,
and for these three things I love you deeply,
and pray the gods will let me stand beside you,
and give you what little aid I can.