Tyler Young

The Gift

Kalere was a thief, the best in the ‘Verse

But the things that she stole wouldn’t fit in a purse

Other thieves purloined jewelry, spaceships, or gold

But the treasures Kalere wanted couldn’t be sold

Kalere was pure energy, a million-watt power

Her hideout, a hurtling meteor shower

From each victim she took truest part of the soul

A loss, Kalere gloated, that would take quite a toll

For the pieces she took left their former hosts changed

Not a hair out of place, but the life rearranged

After five thousand years of stalking through space

Her current held pieces of near every race

But at last Kalere’s power was starting to fade

A shame, it seemed now, that she’d never been made

She had never been spotted, much less ever caught

What a crime it would be if the whole world forgot

Kalere wouldn’t fizzle; she’d blaze out in glory

A most fitting end to a five-thousand-year story

She would strike just once more, bring a new soul to grief

But the hounds, when they came, might just capture the thief

She’d recount all her crimes, list right off every sin

At the end of her life, she thought each one a win

Call me Kalere, she’d say, greatest thief ever

But you’d never know it because I’m that clever

They’d kill her, she knew, and no swift execution

Her name would live on; let them have retribution

She searched long and hard for the worthiest prey

It had to be perfect, this last soul she’d flay

She chose a great author known far and wide

Beloved by all and yet tortured inside

Like lightning she struck, when she plundered his soul

The man shook–he trembled–he lost all control

She let the man see her, let her glory shine through

Then he smiled, to her shock, and whispered thank you

Kalere, her mind reeling, explored the man’s soul

She’d taken the truest; she could still feel the hole

You’ve taken the misery, the smiling man said

Where I only felt terror, there’s peace now instead

Kalere, at that moment, felt her light start to die

Don’t forget me, she called, tell the universe why

Your blessing, he promised, will be known for an age

But his talent was gone; he could not fill a page

tyMy short fiction has previously been accepted for publication by Daily Science Fiction. If accepted, this would be my first published work of poetry.
I am a Midwestern lawyer. When I am not writing science fiction poetry and prose, I am at a zoo or museum with my wife and two young children.


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