by Samantha Henderson
Whispers the voice to the girl in stilettos,
limping her way by the side of the street
put down your lipstick and brace for your angels --
all look the same when they pull down the sheet.
Whispers the voice to the flat-footed waitress,
bringing the coffee and pouring the wine
ready your weapons, prepare them by midnight
you must strike fast when my innocents dine.
Whispers the voice to the man in the alley,
shattered and filthy and trying to sleep
rise from your stupor and put on the armor –
ride to the battle and die for my sheep.
One day you'll pause with your foot on the threshold,
one day you'll stop with your back to the wall
whispers the voice as the three wait beside you --
yours is the choice where you fight or you fall.
Under the cities an army is waiting,
high on the towers are watching the spies,
nobody knows -- if they did, they've forgotten
who shows their colors and who's in disguise.
Maybe you'll pass and pretend you don't hear it,
maybe you'll serve, and the angels rejoice,
maybe you'll run and with fist and with needle
seal up the caverns where whispers the voice.
About the Author:
Samantha Henderson lives in
Southern California with her family and assorted fauna. Her
work has been published in Strange Horizons, Chizine,
Fantasy: Best of 2005 and Lone Star Stories, and
is upcoming in Fantasy and Realms of Fantasy. For
more information, see her website at
Poem © 2007 Samantha Henderson