The Winterbright Queen

by Samantha Henderson

Don't go on the moor
when the foxfire shines
and don't thatch your roof
with poisonwood vines
and don't dress your hair
with firethorn blooms
and weave not your dress
on a blackberry loom.

Else the Winterbright Queen
with her girdle of bone
and her diadem plucked
from the Summerking's throne
will come and will claim you
will call you her own
turn your blood into water
your heart into stone.

You'll ride in her train
on a horse made of ice
you'll dance with her partners
called Virtue and Vice
she'll own you forever
wherever you roam
and no one can shatter
your heart made of stone.

But since he has gone
to maidens more fair
to maidens more comely
with gold in their hair
I'll go on the moor
when the foxfire shines
and I'll thatch my roof
with poisonwood vines.

And I've dressed my hair
with firethorn blooms
I've woven my gown
on a blackberry loom
I'll lay myself down
by a fair frozen stream
and give my poor heart
to the Winterbright Queen.

Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California with her family and various animals. Her poetry and fiction can be seen in Strange Horizons, Chizine, Lone Star Stories, Star*Line, and Abyss and Apex.

When confronted with the question "If a mask were to choose you, what would it be of?" she responded, "Naturally: The Scarlet Vixen." See here for elucidation.

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