Small witch, a shield

By | 1 May 2020

young girl pretends she is witch she is healer
stalks round the yard out the front of her house
silver ghost gum combs itself through the air
small earth witch conjures spells in the dirt
summons grimoires from deep in the earth

libraries: everywhere you touch
all ideas come from the hearts of trees

muddy green rituals of root and leaf
unearthing old ways under the houso estate
whose concrete scabbed over lands fresh-bled
squatted-stolen-fenced into lego-land allotments
she peels back the sprawl of the colonising spread

a library, in everything you touch

with small hands gloved by ancient soil
she pries open portals to parallel worlds
where gods swim inside the clay
and frogs hold the balance in their throats
and mum’s not sick from the wounds of centuries

in bed she reads stories on the pulped hearts of trees
cooks up enchantments in the cauldron of her mind
to dream the right spell to turn herself into a shield
against those fists her mum’s always catching

you are the scar of your mother’s old wounds

midnight, a haunted house:
she slips from bed,
sneaks from room,
creeps down hall
and rests at door,
checks mum’s still breathing


she picks her way up the tree quick like a spider
lays heart down on bough as she catches her breath
hovers in light trance as leaves flick the sun
cheek to bark she meditates, practising death

like a jarjum asleep in a coolamon cradle
the world is a song being sung to you

metronome precision of the highway next door
ghosts ride up and down over ancient trade routes
where news and ideas and technology once travelled
in the stories and dances and songs of her old people
and in their hands, on carved message sticks

don’t grow up to rule the world, little sis
or even other people
just you stay sovereign over yourself
This entry was posted in 96: NO THEME IX and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Related work:

Comments are closed.