Goblin Fruit staff cannot be held responsible for the consequences attendant on reading this poem aloud. You do so at your own peril.
by Samantha Henderson
One if by moonlight,
Two if by sun,
Three if by twilight that's barely begun,
Four if by star-shine,
Five if by dawn,
Six times I've called you and six times you've gone.
One if by lightning,
Two if by rain,
Three if by hailstones that beat down the grain,
Four if by snowfall,
Five if by ice,
Six times I've shaken and thrown down the dice.
One if by Venus,
Two if by Mars,
Three if by comets and renegade stars,
Four if by Saturn,
Five if by Earth,
Six times the cycle of death and of birth.
One if by maple,
Two if by oak,
Three if by ash-tree the winter winds broke,
Four if by elder,
Five if by pine,
Six times I've sworn by the gods you'll be mine.
One if by Sunday,
Two if by Lent,
Three if by trumpets the sweet angels sent,
Four if by Mary,
Five if by John,
Six for the chessmen: the Bishop and pawn.
Six times the circle,
Five times the call,
Four times the drops from my fingertips fall,
Three times the mountains,
Two times the sea,
Once more that pattern that binds you to me.
Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California. Her fiction and poetry can be seen in Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, Lone Star Stories and Helix as well as previous issues of Goblin Fruit. Her first novel, Heaven's Bones, a dark Victorian fantasy, has just been released by Wizards of the Coast.
When asked whether she believes in ghosts, she replied, "the real question is, do they believe in me?" Of course they do, Sam. Of course they do.
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