poem21 Oct 2019 08:00 am
The Love Potion by Evelyn de Morgan

Mary Soon Lee

Chose this path,
the barred doors,
her father's face averted
as she left the village.

Cast herself out
to the hut in the wood,
the cold corpse of the crone
who was witch before her.

Hard hours digging a grave,
the earth iron with frost;
hard work, a hard price
so that no man would own her.

Hunched at the hut's hearth,
chilled beyond bone;
back, fingers, arms aching
from her grim labor.

A blackness darker
than the shadowed shelves
slipped loose, edged its way
to an empty bowl. Cat.

Cat's accusing stare
as quietly, slowly,
trying not to startle it,
she offered it food.

Cat's small softness
beside her when she woke,
a gentler, older magic
than any she learned after.

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