On a hill dark with firs, the old brick
of high walls jutted out from the slope
like a medieval castle stuck sidewise, flung
from a wrong spin of time. No moat needed,
the neighbors’ words enough, gossip about the crazy
house high on the hill, where the wealthy sent their broken
minded ones, affording such elegant exile.
Nights, when the air was flat, sounds came, screams,
sometimes just one, sometimes more, sporadic,
not taut, high pitched cries of fear but low unspooling
screams like anguish first revealed.
Some checked the bolts on their doors and windows, worried
a crazy might get loose, sneak down the hill to wreak havoc
on their quiet village lives. Others, knowing what lingered
in their own halls, worried that the shadow of madness might
take their hand one night, lead them up the hill.
Susan Moorhead‘s poems, short stories and essays have appeared in a variety of places such as The Comstock Review, Anderbo, Bayou, Goblin Fruit, Feile-Festa, Alice Blue Review, Earth’s Daughters, among others, with an essay in Brain, Child nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Three poems were recently published in the anthology, Dogs Singing.
Read more of her poetry in dm xlviii ~ bel ennui ~