“At Allantide”, by Liz Bennefeld
At Allantide the young girls sleep,
an apple beneath each pillow,
dreaming of their love to be.
At Allantide I sit awake, apple in hand,
waiting for the dear, sweet Allan of my dreams
to come again and dance underneath the moon,
orange above, amid dry barley propped up in sheaves.
Bones rattling, he takes my hand.
We spin across the threshing floor in tight embrace.
He promises, this Allantide . . . or maybe next,
Only a ghostly apple will sit upon a pillow
not dented when I can no longer stay awake.
Face matching his, I’ll dance a final song with him,
And then we both can sleep.
– Elizabeth Bennefeld, © 5 Oct. 2007 [Written for the Science Fiction
Poetry Association’s 2007 Online Halloween Poetry Reading Web page (MP3 available at SFPA)]