At the Crossroads: Beltane and Samhain

Rooted at dusty crossroads, dirt in palm,
I caress and coo to it, set it to the wind.
I stamp in rusted nail at the center. Sacred duty.
The Wheel is turning, Samhain in lower hemisphere, Beltane in upper.
On this road they meet and mix. One foot in summer, one in Autumn.
Veil thin. Shades pass, man tips hat, I courtesy. Left with whisper.
I turn the Wheel. Lay branches of lilac in sacrifice.
Burn myrrh and olibanum. I chant and sing,
mourn the dead, comfort the dying.
Even in jovial celebrations, the ancestors must be remembered.
I see scraps and ribbons tied to one half of the road.
The other, cobwebs, and withering flowers, leaves as colorful as the ribbons.
I call to the wind — may blessing find those who yearn for it.
May they find balm. Let them cry — but dry their tears.
The Wheel finally turns with a great heave. Let us dance and feast.
There is much to celebrate on both sides of the crossroads.
I go down both roads, slipping into ether.

[Kim Malinowski earned her B.A. from West Virginia University and her M.F.A. from American University. She studies with The Writers Studio. Her chapbook Death: A Love Story was published by Flutter Press. Her work was featured in Faerie Magazine and appeared in Eternal Haunted Summer, Mythic Delirium, Mookychick, Amethyst Review, Gramarye, Gone Lawn, and others.]