Thanks to Rob for suggesting a topic; I’d already done a Hansel & Gretel poem, but hey, there’s room for another. I’m going to try to take on Abby’s suggestion tomorrow!
Speaking of suggestions, this is advance warning that I’m taking suggestions for my creative theme for next week. First come (with a suggestion I like), first serve!
He’d always been one of them:
sling-swinging boys, muddy-kneed boys,
hair-pulling, rock-throwing, kings
of every mountain. Gaping and laughing
outside her window. Thieving the feathers
off her birds, the nibs off her
pens, the black off her hair.
Now he’s mired, sunk, his rib-cage
drowned with meat, even his scabby elbows
puffed. At dawn she rubs his feet,
slick and oily like two fish in the marketplace.
At dusk she turns him, straining, with a pole.
From somewhere in the mass, a little
boy’s voice pipes for freedom, for sweets,
for everything he’s always had
and thinks he deserves.
She whispers to him through the cage –
bamboo, now, to bulge with his body –
that she never meant to eat him up.
The witch’s been dead a dozen years
and her house is made of suffering.