Submitted Date 02/23/2020

I lit the white taper candle,

surrounded the glass base with Celtic sea salt,

but I refuse to bury any sealed baby jars,

scatter the contents at a crossroads,

or send it down a river like common litter.


I've swept my hermit house in the woods

with Baba Yaga's broom,

cast the dust off the deck and claimed spinsterhood

to an audience of trees.


When the forest burns, it burns with ease and does not scream.

The land casts smoke to the sky.


Blackened estates and churches remain intact through the fire.

They swipe fresh paint over smoked brick.

But they are stuck with the stench

of burning flesh.


The forest burns with ease and does not scream,

but if you listen closely, you can hear the echoes.
of a voiceless ancestor:
"I am worthy of existence."

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