Are you not afraid?
by Marjorie Taylor
“You must get lonely, living here all alone”
They tell me.
“Are you not afraid, in the night?”
When am I ever alone, here?
Here, where the moon casts her bone white light upon her children,
Feathered clouds smoking across her face
Here, where we drink in the heady scents, of darkness,
of the unseen flowers
and the forgotten dreams
Beneath the hawthorns
I see the fair folk dance,
Warily, I hear them sing; it is unwise to listen too long.
I leave them their due,
milk, white as the moon herself.
applebark, and heather, and love-in-idleness
we have a truce
I do not fear them,
with cold iron above my hearth
and rowan at my door.
Death stalks the garden
velvet clawed and silent
remembering her divinity,
greeting the moon as a sister.
In the sharp edged shadows she waits.
In this, her kingdom,
I will not venture to approach her.
Death moves in the garden,
silent, beneath the needle calls of bats
I see him, russet coat bleached ash-grey
In the daylight, he is hunted
here, the hunter
he fears me not.
I hear the howls of the wolves
whose bones have been dust for a thousand years
I see the bones of the land
the sleeping giant waiting
I see all the pasts that have stepped into the shadows.
My turn will come.
“No.” I say.
and am silent