Calliope’s Plight


Calliope whispered,
Her back screaming, on fire
Flesh tightening, twisting
She grimaced and pulled closer
A pillar and her strong grip
The only things between alive and not
“Help me”

An unbearable weight
Pulling, swinging, no warning
Every fiber a candle wick
And bleeding, she feels the slick
What’s happening to me?
Trying hard just to focus
“Someone, anyone, please”

Lungs collapsing
Every breath excruciating pain
She cries out to the dark night
No help from the forest
Or the water below
The witching hour long past
“I can’t hold on”

A knotted rope around her chest
The mocking weight hung below
When suddenly and terribly, it came
First, an icy wind slithered up her legs
Hungrily licking at her wounds
Lusting at the raw sweetness of agony
“I….I can’t breathe”

And then everything gathered whiteness
Sight growing dim, must be dying
Vengeful girls gathered all around
Surrounded, and then a great sound
Something wicked now commencing
A shining darkness come to play

A hunting party, that’s what they say
Message of death to a witch, this day
Her fondness for circumstance, it was
Wrong place, wrong time
A bridge, a rope, a sack of stone
How long could she hold on?
“It wasn’t me”

And now, there’s no one listening
The angry mob of menacing girls
Peddling their false justice off an interstate
But for one, things moved too slow
Her stone pitch, right down the middle
That probably broke a rib.

And how the laughter did flow
The taunts, and a surging crowd
Her pain threshold now crossed
The great iceberg cleaves with a fierce crashing
Waves churning, wind rising
And then, when eyes start glowing

To the skies, Calliope whispered
And how they did swell and rumble
Blue lightning flashed, icy rain erupting
And suddenly, the heat escaped
Water freezing, blood pumping
A soulless cold spread like a plague
“I’m coming”

Rise she did, as a ghost on the wind
Up, up, and finally over the rail
No one’s laughing now, no one at all
One hand reaches angrily into the wind
Hammering gusts, mean girls running
Nowhere to go, black ice forming
“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!”

Frozen bolts burst from her hands
She lashes out with the whip of winter
Oh the delicious screaming and wailing
But none escaping, each sees her eyes
Powerless as their souls ripped away
Leftovers fed to the damned

The realization of painful exhilaration
It’s another long moment of finally being over
And tomorrow she’ll be far away
Start again, somewhere new, just like before
Maybe this time she can stay Calliope
And keep her secret Ice Witch away

About the Author

R.J. Schwartz is an American writer, poet, witch, and pagan historian. He has published two books of poetry and contributed to a third. He owns and writes all the content for The Gypsy Thread and also owns The Creative Exiles – an international poetry/short story/creative writing site.

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