We, the Mothers of the Crescent Creed by Russell Hemmell


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Death is just a rite of passage,

my daughter said on the day of her execution.

I’ll be back to fight the tyrant and his ghouls

mowing them down by the thousands

when the white crescent in my hand

flexes its willowy body and becomes a scythe.

And cry we did not in front of the pyre

-we, the ones who were left behind-

only stared at the martyrdom with dry open eyes.

Becoming heroes doesn’t take the pain away

but gives a reason to an everlasting suffering:

the awareness we had carried the daughters of the Moon in our wombs.

I know now a moonchild is a stranger from an alternate universe,

where justice is ruthless and total wars are the answer to oppression.

They show up unannounced

-no faces no names and pale wretched skins-

tiptoeing behind the door when the sun has set

insinuating their little bones in cradles and swaddling clothes.

Summoned by the angry ghosts

of the victims remained unavenged

they’re like thieves in the night

- tiny drops of blood their pathway to life-

and steal your heart forever

before you even realize they’ve come.

RUSSELL HEMMELL is a French-Italian transplant in Scotland, passionate about astrophysics, history, and Japanese manga. Recent work in Aurealis, Cast of Wonders, Flame Tree Press, The Grievous Angel, and others. SFWA, SFPA, & HWA member. Find them online at their blog earthianhivemind.net and on Twitter @SPBianchini.