“Night-dyed herbs,” came the vendor’s cry. “Come buy!
Seductive power. Risk-free trial! Please try
My wares on Samhain!” Odd plants caught my eye.
What did I have to lose? “Can you reverse
Ill-omened destiny?” The crone was terse.
“I’ll handle all requests. But pay me first.”
Showing your photo only made her nod,
Suspending my belief in priests, saints, God.
Entrusted with my prayers, their grace was flawed.
Counting my money like a cold cashier,
The witch’s countenance conveyed a sneer.
October’s dying heat lured magic near.
Stroking strange herbs with calloused palms, her quotes
Were incantations. Still inchoate, motes
Re-formed as you— grime hanging on your coat,
Death’s tight grip meeting life’s warm open hand
As you restaked your claim, breathed air once banned,
Embraced me tightly. Was this wonderland?
The crone removed herself, deft as a fawn.
Dismayed, when I looked back, you, too, were gone.
Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, a Pushcart Prize, Rhysling Award, Best of the Net, and Dwarf Stars nominee, is a member of SFPA, The British Fantasy Society, and The Dramatists Guild. She was Poetry SuperHighway’s “Poet of the Week” [Sept. 12 – 18, 2022]. Elgin Award winner “A Route Obscure and Lonely,” “Concupiscent Consumption,” “Women Who Were Warned,” and “Messengers of the Macabre” [co-written with David Davies], nominated for CLMP’s Firecracker Award, are her latest poetry titles.
Forthcoming: “Apprenticed to the Night” [UK: Beacon Books, 2023]
Forthcoming: “Felones de Se: Poems about Suicide” [Canada: Ukiyoto, 2023].
Book Trailer MotM: “Messengers of the Macabre” — https://youtu.be/dQJA4_d_EsU https://messengersofthemacabre.com/