the runcheon rattles

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photo by Driscoll

the runcheon rattles, its chains are long
it keens a ghostly murder song
upon the moors, upon the heath
with rasping, fetid, icy breath

the runcheon rattles, its chains unwind
with wailing moan it hunts though blind
across the meadow, out of the wood
where no child ventures whose soul is good

the runcheon rattles, its chains pulled taut
’tis bloody though it lacks a heart
amidst the town, within the lane
it shudders in the cold and rain

the runcheon rattles, its chains a ruin
its labored breath a grating tune
beyond the hedge, through the gate
it tarries not lest it be late

the runcheon rattles, by chains unbound
all too soon its prey’s been found
upon your hearth a sudden frost
the runcheon rattles–and you are lost

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