Beloved Witch

by Alexandra Seidel

Swipe me away with a broom
like dirt
this would suit your nature I suppose
as you are a witch
—did you really think that you could hide it?

the smell of herbs
perched like a devil on your shoulder
when other women walk the path
of flower petals or frankincense
toads and cats that greet you
and forest trees that part
their branches for your passing

there have been midnights when,
thinking me asleep,
I saw you dancing with the moon
and call to the stars with a sibyl’s voice and
I didn’t mind
I know what you can do with a mandrake’s
limbs, severed
and with mere words, enlaced
I know where you keep your needles
and your yarn
and I saw you whisper words
into the ears of all the babes
you helped deliver

So if
you say that you love me not
and want me to leave
and have the nerve to blame the horns
and the cleft foot and—why—even
the dark color of my eyes that look
like the silent waters of a starlit lake
before the moon is born,
at least use your broom on me
not the sharp edges
of your serpent’s tongue

or rather
be honest

say—if you can—that the horns
or the foot or the eyes
are really all the reason,
(and you must mean it too!)
not your tender fear of
loving and being loved in turn
or of children growing from your own lap

say it, if you can, I dare you
and if you say it, if you can
I’ll leave and won’t return.

What do you say?
Do we have ourselves a bargain,
witch beloved?


Alexandra Seidel writes poems and stories of the ominous, the macabre, the mythical and every so often, the comical. She swears, sometimes ideas come to her all fancy dressed with painted masks of scarlet and emerald, silver and gold. Thanks to some strangely good fortune, her work is (or soon will be) Out There: Bull Spec, Strange Horizons, Cabinet des Fées, Poe Little Thing and others. Being a writer, Alexandra keeps a mangy blog right here:
http://tigerinthematchstickbox.blogspot.com/


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