The Truth From Baba Yaga

Towns are poisonous, truth be told. That’s why this house sets

on chicken legs.  If we don’t like a place, or if they find us, we just gets up and steps away.  Long   steps. 


They send their pestering children out into this dark and fearful northern European forest to bother me with their nonsense.  Looking in mirrors

they shouldn’t be near enough to gaze on,


they see reflected the empty sockets of their own mortality floating

among the lilies.  The mirrors are meant to keep the birds from flowering fruits,

but children imagine wild things.


The priest calls me “Crone,” because I give my wealth no more to cloister nor

to bridegroom.  Townsfolk are the perfect hole of an echo, throwing stones

as they cross themselves, but I don’t


need them.  I’ve been sweeping up after myself and minding business

now for about fourteen hundred years, living pretty good for a lone, old woman.  In the dark they always come, looking


for potions and miseries.  I’m a chemist, you know.