The Witch

by Michelle Fee

The witch is made of spit and stone
The witch is made of leather
She plucks the teeth of water sprites
She pricks the wayward fairy lights
She hustles up the barrow wights
And splinters every feather

The witch's door is cradle-strewn
Its hinges thick with tar
Bound with pitch and bound with fire
Bound with swamp and muck and mire
Bound with thistled witching wire
Bound to tooth and star

The witch does not a mother make
Her daughter runs the dawn
Wary of the thickets wild
Wary of the night defiled
Wary of the neighbor child
Smoking, on the lawn

The witch's teeth will bear no sound
Nor barren hands beget
The witch will not the door deny
The witch will not the spit decry
The witch will not the stone defy
The witch will not forget.

Michelle Fee is a Floridian marooned in Kentucky, where old superstitions merge with Appalachian folklore to make life very interesting indeed. Her writing has recently appeared in Semaphore, The Collective Press, and Nanoism. Her favorite fruit is the kiwi, namely for its toxic-green insides and the ease with which it can be juggled.

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