Uncategorized13 Jun 2021 01:43 pm
Märchenerzählerin by J. Adam, 1882

Sandi Leibowitz

Surely, child, I can provide
that simple thing you ask for—
to cross the eyes of some poor girl
I’ve never met.
But such a gift comes dear—
mean-spirited witchery exacts
a price on the practitioner,
and I must pass along the cost.
Nay, don’t cross my palm with coins
—fill my ear with story.
How she’s wronged you?
That’s not what I need,
mere pennies of your fee.
Remember your granny’s hearthside tales,
not the ones you’ve heard a thousand times,
but those you heard just once.
Tell the one she murmured
when they thought you were asleep.
You’d slipped into your auntie’s lap,
your breathing stilled.
A dark tale came,
so filled with blood and wonder
your toes and fingers ached
and your heart banged loud, so loud
you thought they’d guessed you hearkened.
A tale so strange you knew
it must be true.
Tell me that one.
Tell me the tales that come for you
sometimes at night
—you think them dreams—
where you travel to cities
you don’t understand,
but cry missing them.
And the ones that claw you
from the insides out,
that force you to rise, shaking,
It was a dream, a dream,
nothing more.
Tell me those.

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