Seven for a Secret

379px-Barbebleue

Rags of night scatter in the green grass
green as that palace on the high hill.
Beaded eyes glitter as I count them
nine by nine. That was the summer
I learned all the fairytales were true.
The sun bleached it into a story:
One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a death
Four for a birth
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret that’s never been told.

We wore our cherry-red shoes to church
and the red man with his too-bright smile
tapped them with his stick. Dance on, dance on!
See the yews by the cemetery
the red berries by the gate. Dance on!
Here’s the chopper come for your head.
One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a death
Four for a birth
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret that’s never been told.

Crown you with flowers from the green grass,
bride with your veil. The rich duke gives you
a tiny key, a door you must not
crack. You spy the bones through the keyhole.
They write the word that is your name and
you run in your white robe. The crows count.
One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a death
Four for a birth
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret that’s never been told.

Remember when the stars fell from
the sky and landed on their jackets?
Don’t you want that to happen again?
We’re on Bluebeard’s side now. Beware
the wife with the needling eyes. Just dance
in your red shoes and count the crows.
One for sorrow
Two for mirth
Three for a death
Four for a birth
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret that’s never been told.

I whisper the end of the rhyme
under breath. Careful! Old Scratch has got
ears underground and hands that reach up
at the sound of his name. That summer
I learned all the fairytales were true.
The sun bleached it into a story.

Eight for heaven
Nine for hell
Ten for the Devil Himself.

 

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About whitecatgrove

The musings of a Druid priestess, singer, poet and musician in Upstate New York.
This entry was posted in poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

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