The Witch In Springtime

I am the witch in springtime--

My heart is frozen leaves pulled from winter's silvering river

And my blood does not flow, it gusts.

Under the dogwood tree, on the thick rising grass,

I have drawn my pentagram with tar.

You can see my breath in chilly puffs against every falling petal--

They shatter like dropped teacups before they even reach the ground.

Step into my ring of frost and touch my face--

Losing that hand is a small price to pay.

Put away your stupid silver dagger--

I am just a girl,

Though I have been old since I was small.

It is almost Mother's Day.

Mine said, "Child, here are your kittens,

And here are your runic stones, all inside this sturdy burlap bag.

Slip into it as if it were a christening dress."

But when the water came,

My sisters and I were nothing but panic and claws

And so we are today,

Froward souls walking up and down upon the earth.

One spring past, I stole a bride.

Her dress matched my floe, and the already encroaching swans;

She spoke to me such vulgarities that the tips of my ears turned pink.

So charming was she, that for the first time, I loved summer and my wrongly-gotten prize both the same.

All I can say now is,

Damn the swans.

I am the witch in springtime--

My heart is thawing leaves woven by orioles, my nestlings my various and virulent hatreds of anything fresh and new.

I long for what I cannot hold.

I burn for what I cannot have.

I dreamt I saw birds filling the sky down all the lengthening days,

And they said,

"Where is all your magic now, old witch?


"Gone" was all I could think to tell them.


photo: Jordana Brewster


Maude Lynn said…
Shay, this is amazing.
Mojo said…
Your magic is anything but "gone". The imagery in this is absolutely astonishing! (He said in a hushed, almost reverential voice.)

This is brilliant. Simply brilliant.
ellen abbott said…
Shay, sweetie, are you floundering in the depths?
Anonymous said…
Oh My Bob!
where is Shay and who is this pretending to be her?


where did you get the prompt to write from this point of view?

Quit messing around or I am going to cry. And where did shadow go. You have to be strong so that you can help me dammit!!!
who said…
sorry broken link, this one is good
Daryl said…
Magic missing? Not. at. all.
Sara said…
Shay -- You had me on the first three lines of this poem. I read them over and over. I love the last line, "And my blood does not flow, it gusts."

I've said it before, but it is so much fun to read your poetry aloud. There are so many characters in your poems, each unique!

It would fun to hear you read your poems. Think about exploring this one day...a place where we can click and hear Shay read her words!
TALON said…
There's such sorrow here and such strong imagery. Another beautiful, painful poem, Shay. There is magic in every line.
Riot Kitty said…
Wow Shay! Sorry to gush as usual, but this is one of my favorites.
This would make a great screenplay.
Very vivid words.Strong.Thank you!
Lynn said…
I, too, say WOW! Awesome.
mac said…
When you write from this painful place, I am touched deeply.

No, Dear Witch. Your magick is intact!
Ileana said…
Love the image that accompanies this poem...and you will NEVER lose your magic, my friend. E!V!E!R!
Senorita said…
You are very talented !
Unknown said…
I would love this grace my house and walls...I would love it if you elaborated this to story are always!!!!
love you rock steady~
Kay said…
I'm trying to figure out how in the end, I feel soothed with this poem... soothed, old witch- you, Shay, have found the magic
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Another of your fantastic froward witch poems. You MUST submit these! So many amazing amazing amazing words and images - "shatter like dropped teacups", "I have been old since I was small", the whole burlap bag thing and the sisters "nothing but panic and claws". The swans.

Absolutely incredible writing. Brilliant. Unlike anyone else's poems - unique. HIGHLY PUBLISHABLE!!!!!!!!!! I see a book of them - all witchy and froward.
hedgewitch said…
Hadn't read this--thanks for the linkback today, it gives context to what you just wrote,and also is such a fine piece itself I would have hated to miss it. Your use of metaphor here is exceptionally skillful and hits the reader like the buffet of wings, painfully, but with beautiful feathers.
Anonymous said…
all i want for Christmas is the time to read everything you've ever written.

there is no one on earth who can write like you do, Shay! {sigh} reading your words makes me happy. thank you! ♥ d
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Wow. Too many fabulous lines to repeat. Amazing and slightly haunted. And haunting.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Step into my ring of frost and touch my face--

Losing that hand is a small price to pay.

LOVE it all!