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Crystal Allen

of

Halifax, NS, CA

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Winter Games

by

Crystal Allen

He was hauling in the haunted harvest.

There were whispers that he knew
the sign you must sign
in the air, with your fingertips,
and this prevented him from being allowed
to carry weapons.

He knew to gather witch's broom
from a dead tree with all the ceremony.
But he was not a man of ceremony.

We saw him once under the large oak,
the one that groans at night
the one that chills when it passes us;

We saw him once by the river
feeding deer from the palms of his hands.
Now we see him hauling in the haunted harvest
and hear the howling in the hills we now know
must be hollow.

I could decipher the leaves,
count the pine cones,
and notice the marked white stone missing from the ash...

Then I would know how much snow
and when
and who would die this winter.