the witch doesn’t burn in this one – Tamara Fricke

An apology due instead

Brave & Reckless

Oh no, pet, not today-
you’ve brought your fire
to a coven concrete
in self assurance
with crystal portals
that know this story
and a bricked in spine
that doesn’t know
what it means to curtsy

the soot of your hatred
warms these aging bones
but does little to diminish
a resolve cured to perfection
seasoned with temperance
and reinforced in the knowledge
that I am neither your tinder,
whetstone, nor slag

I am the nightshade
driving your pathos,
the wormwood
feeding your torch,
and the dirt under
your nails from
digging a grave only
you are fit to fill.

See, the witch
doesn’t burn
in this one, pet,
but you don’t
have to either-
douse the torch
wash your hands
and go apologize
to your mother.

Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The…

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