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Throwback Thursday: Tricked, by D. J. Tyrer

(Editor’s note: The ease of language in this poem, and the way every word helps build a picture appealed to me. I can see every move and item. You’ll love it too. (I wrote this note when the poem was first published in 2021, and I think the same way now. (Kate))

Not every maiden

Who accepted the strange little man’s deal

Discovered his name


Facing the threat

Of losing their newborn child

The cruel imp spending their labour

Standing in the corner

Of the royal birthing chamber

Rubbing his hands with glee

But, a quick-thinking midwife

Can still provide a win

At the very last moment

Slipping a warming pan into blankets

Bundled up like a babe

Handing it over

“Is this what you wanted?”

“Yes! Yes!” clapping with delight

(Words seal the deal)

Mother sobs as the little man vanishes

Then, midwife smiles

Hands over newborn child…


DJ Tyrer is the person behind Atlantean Publishing, and has been published in issues of The Horrorzine, Illumen, Sirens Call, Spectral Realms, Star*Line, and Tigershark, and online at Lonesome October, and Three Drops from a Cauldron. SuperTrump and A Wuhan Whodunnit are available to download from the ATLANTEAN PUBLISHING website. He also has a personal BLOG.


Image by Arthur Rackham.


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