The Kelpie


[Image description: Deirdre, a young woman with red hair, sits crouched on a moor. In her lap is the head of Naoise, a young man she loved.]

A young man walks by the stream

In his head a thousand burgeoning dreams

His crutches beat a tattoo against the packed clay

Laid down over millions of days

The water murmurs in refrain

Of the dragging toes of his right leg

Selene watches with a passive face

Her burning companions beaded into dark lace


She comes before him from out of the emptiness

That exists in the trembling of cruelness

A bitter filly, one of the Unseelie

Called waterhorse or kelpie

A tall lass with weeded hair

Her toothy grin holds despair

In every space between her great fangs


He shudders to see her

Yet bites upon her lure

Of devouring caprice

She draws him near

Her breath heavy with moss, blood, and fear.

“I don’t make it with prostitutes.”

She tells him his observation isn’t astute.


Her laugh is a thousand silver bells

A glided death knell

As hoary hands crush his throat

She knows her killing method by rote

She drowns him in the stream

His last requiem on Earth is his scream


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