The Good People

By Maria Schrater

Call our name

Speak into the breeze

      Drop it unthinking

      Court our attention:

              The sixth sense that screams

              Someone is watching, hungry

              In the room you know is empty

                              Eye-flashes in torchlight

                              Gone on the return swing

                                              Something has shifted

                                              Though you live alone

                                                               Fatigue hardening your bones

                                                                                Missing hair, aching heart,

                                                                                This, my dear, is just the start

Names have power

You are careless with ours

We’ll relieve you of yours

    Fairness from Fair Folk

        No matter your wards

            Best remember:   

                              Hair teeth blood breath toenails spit skin sweat hopes speech dreams desires nightmares

                    Are besieged gates

               Even closing your eyes

         Brings the horde

    S  w  a  r  m  i  n  g

Invaders, entrailed, forget

What mercy entails

                                                                                          Elfshot invisible stings less

                                                                                          Than passing breezes, carries

                                                                        Plague-boils, madness, mouth-foam

                                                           Nerves turned silken puppet strings,

                                                           Ending in chains, pitchforks, fire,

                                       Hoofbeats on Samhain, winding horns

                                       Howling birdsong, ride-wind dragging

                   Sulfur and roses, mildew and pine sap

                   We stop to watch the spectacle, as you

                   Bereft, gain a new name in the mob-call

    “Monster” hurled by yesterday’s neighbors

     We Folk do not interfere, we have taken

Our dues in a bewitching glass bauble

Sitting shelved beside

Other trophies.


Maria Schrater is a writer and poet with a deep love of folklore. She has a B.A. in Fiction from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has appeared in Hair Trigger, and her story published there received a Certificate of Merit from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in 2018. She lives with two cats, Stormy and Tempest.