Linda M. Crate

The December Featured Poet is Linda M. Crate

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walking in the graveyard
at midnight
the wind whistles
an unfamiliar, haunting song
he wonders if he
should even be
and his friends laugh
insisting that he is being a little girl
he purses his lips and goes on
despite his worry—
seems his intuition was right
as hands reach from beneath the soil
to rob the living of the lives they
can no longer breathe,
and yet he is left alone as his friends fall;
when he asks the zombies why
they tell him because he respects the dead—
he wonders if it isn't some trick,
and runs as hard as he can home;
finding that no one is giving chase but his
imagination and he wonders if that wasn't just
some bad nightmare
until he realizes that he is alone
all his friends gone.


silhouettes hanging on the stars
beneath the gaze of moonlight
haunt and hunt her
in whispers no one else can
and she refuses to tell them
lest they think she is mad but she knows
that they are real;
she walks down the stairs and gives pause
as one winks at her from the beyond—
“what do you want?”
she asks,
but there is no reply;
a refrain of dancing bones makes its debut
skeletons racing up and down the stairs
as if they don’t see her or hear
her screaming—
she never believed in haunted houses
until she met this one,
and she pulled her children from their beds
driving away into the darkness of night
with no other thought but returning to some
place of safety.


the leaves rattle
like bones,
and every shadow
sings of a nightmare;
and she thinks
she must be losing her mind
as she checks the clock
every hour
as insomnia holds her captive
beneath the sprawling
song of a red moon—
but death comes
soon enough with hands
colder than the mandibles of her fear,
and she cannot fight him
because she knows everyone has their time;
and she is ready to lose this anxiety
the fire of her dreams and passions left her
long ago after her husband’s death and her children left
her lone and fragile as a dying flower—
death kissed her,
and was surprised to see her kiss him back;
“I’ve been waiting for you,” she whispers
and he nods like an old lover or friend
taking her with him
releasing her from the power of her wounds.

Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has four published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014),  If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), and My Wings Were Made To Fly (Flutter Press, September 2017). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017.