Home / Competitions / Our Winners / Karen Francis

Praying for Dawn by Karen Francis


Beware this night, when the veil is lifted
cold breath of those long gone
merges with the fog at my heels
rancid air pressing at my back as I stand
wavering at the summit, scanning the inky skyline
for bats and tumbling thunderclouds
vibrant blood-berries at my side catch my narrowed eye
I reach to taste and recoil – sickened by their wicked hearts
bursting with a thousand poisonous fish-eyes
stupid pumpkins grin at the windows of fools
but the real magicians watch from behind cold menhirs
and the dripping mouths of caves

Only this night, as the moon slinks down in yellow
does the path rise up from the underworld
the whipping of a cloak, animal stink
and laughter like knives on glass
turn my heart to stone and feet to lead
I try to run from the frozen nightmare
fumble with key in rusted lock and
crawl into secret floor-space
none are safe this night, save the dead,
the cruel and the hopeless

fingernails draw red half-moons
on palms gripping steel crosses
heads pound from eyes screwed shut

We shall beware this night
pray for dawn’s warm rescue
from the waxy horrors
of this sugar-filled
All Hallows Eve

2 comments (Add your own)

1. wrote:
A beautiful poem -- clear, strong and concrete imagery alongside a compelling narrative.

01/12/2015 @ 3:27 PM

2. HannahMarie93 wrote:
Wow, what an absolutely beautiful poem!

02/02/2016 @ 10:41 PM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.