In a season without night,
the women lift their faces, wailing.
Runes freckle their ruddy cheeks
as they sow death beside the hay,
a taut blue ribbon that refuses
to ravel, climbs through
their crowns of yew and lily. When
one sorrows, they join her chorus,
keening braided to the wind.
They clasp hands and dance
a scurried ballet, drowning out
the maypole, the screams. Their eyes
are hungry mouths that suckle flame.
They will teach us ecstasy, the difference
between a lantern and a torch.
Blue has been woven through the hay
and the reaper is among us.
Ann V. DeVilbiss has had work in BOAAT Journal, Crab Orchard Review, The Maine Review, Pangyrus, and elsewhere, with work forthcoming in Painted Bride Quarterly and Grimoire. She is the recipient of the 2017 Betty Gabehart Prize in poetry and an Emerging Artist Award from the Kentucky Arts Council. She lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky.