Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Another Immigrant Story

You carry the story with you:
the children sent by their stepmother
to the hut on hen’s feet,
the witch who would eat them
if they didn’t work fast enough.
All day long the girl spun thread
and the boy carried water in a sieve.
You recall the hungry cat in the doorway,
the hinge left unoiled, moaning on the gate.
The witch ground her iron teeth
and chased the children deep
into the woods: a place of always wanting.

You need the story’s magic
to take you through safely:
a comb that makes a river rise behind you,
a forest full of wild bears,
but then you remember
the witch does not speak this language.
The new words tangle in the loom,
slip like water through a sieve.
You turn and turn the pages
but the woods are darkening.
Not even the witch could find you now.  

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